Data Integration Issues Cost Health, Human Services Agencies $342B

Greg Slabodkin | Health Data Management | August 24, 2015

The top challenge facing health and human services agencies is data integration, which is wreaking havoc on information systems, costing billions of dollars and reducing care quality. That’s the finding of a new survey of 155 IT executives and program managers working with healthcare and other social service agencies—85 percentof whom say their agency faces challenges when it comes to the eligibility and verification of beneficiaries.

On average, these agencies take more than three work weeksto confirm benefit eligibility. However, even with that lengthy process, they estimate 11 percentof the people who receive government healthcare benefits are not actually eligible to receive them. As a result, those surveyed by MeriTalk—a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT—believe nearly $342 billion is wasted annually due to eligibility and verification issues.

When it comes to the eligibility and verification of healthcare beneficiaries, agencies indicated that their biggest hurdle is data integration, with 44 percent sayingthey are unable to leverage all available data due to system and/or integration challenges. And, 43 percent of those surveyedbelieve their current processes hinder their agency’s ability to satisfy beneficiary needs...