Pivot Point Consulting, 2020 Best in KLAS Overall IT Services Firm and a healthcare IT consulting leader, today released its latest Quarterly Pivot report, showcasing top industry developments impacting providers and health plans in Q3 2021. The report explores major trends across managed services, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), virtual care, data analytics, electronic health records (EHRs) and more.
“The healthcare industry was preoccupied with the pandemic, a mass vaccination roll-out and getting back to normal operations in the first half of 2021,” said Rachel Marano, Pivot Point Consulting Managing Partner and Co-Founder. “The latter half of 2021 is going to be just as eventful. Our Q3 report offers insights on what’s ahead, including market disruptions, big healthcare deals and changes coming to IT, virtual care, analytics, reporting, the workforce and our industry.”
Hiring Locally vs. Recruiting Nationally for EHR IT Staff – As we continue adjusting to COVID-19’s long-term impact on how we work, many health systems are experiencing an unexpected crunch in hiring local EHR IT staff due to fully remote positions available across the country. Managed services can act as a mechanism to supplement your existing team and fill in those gaps.
Managed Reporting Services – Health systems struggle to keep up with the high demand for reporting and analytics, including new reports and dashboards and data visualizations. As demand continues to increase, some are appointing a dedicated team to manage backlogs.
Managing Upgrade Fatigue – As EHR vendors continue to upgrade their platforms at a rapid pace, hospitals and health systems are looking for new solutions to address “upgrade fatigue” due to the tremendous amount of time and energy involved.
Deals Heat Up – 2021 will be a busy year for healthcare M&A activity, including for providers, payors and vendors. We already see signs of hospital M&A activity—and our work related to M&A strategy and IT integration—take off this year. On the vendor side, it’s full steam ahead with Cigna’s acquisition of MD Live and the Doctors on Demand merger with Grand Rounds.
Rationalization ROI – Increased M&A activity, combined with a focus on IT value and optimization, is driving CIOs, CFOs and COOs to look strategically at service, application and vendor rationalization. Health systems are proactively building rationalization models into their growth strategy playbooks.
Funding Future of Telehealth – Medicare Telehealth visits climbed from 325,000 services in mid-March 2020 to 1.9 million in April. Telehealth visits have decreased significantly since then, but the rate of decline has slowed in the past few months. While several pieces of legislation are in the works, there are big unknowns about continued access and funding for telehealth services.
Pub Health Infrastructure Funding – In this blog post, we cover the influx of funding for public health infrastructure, including Health IT, stemming from the CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan, as signed into law in late March.
Amazon & Walmart steamrolling Into Healthcare – Amazon and Walmart are ramping up to drive extraordinary change. Amazon is expanding its app-based primary and urgent care services nationwide. Similarly, Walmart is investing heavily in its healthcare capabilities and supporting technology. In addition to increasing its in-store clinics footprint, Walmart purchased telehealth vendor MeMD in early 2021.
New Players and Partnerships – As noted above, new players are aggressively entering healthcare. Google seeks to partner with payors and large provider organizations that will use its technology, Care Studio, to better assess and display clinical data. In addition to primary and urgent care services, Amazon is focused on the supply chain and is looking to disrupt the retail pharmacy space with businesses like PillPack.
Robotic Process Automation – Many organizations are looking to drive additional efficiencies and cost savings. Typically, these are identified by data analytics, and then improved/automated via tools such as robotic process automation.
Data Analytics as a Service – As data requirements expand and become more complex, many organizations are partnering with Pivot Point to provide expertise not only on the EMR reporting platforms such as Epic’s Cogito Suite, but also with aligned tools such as Microsoft PowerBI, Tableau, and Qlik.
Analytics Strategy – Data analytics is making the transition into a mission-critical, core strategic platform for health systems. As such, organizations are looking to maximize the value and utility of their data across their healthcare enterprise.
Apple Driving Record Sharing – In June, multiple EHR companies announced significant record-sharing initiatives with Apple. Cerner, Meditech, Allscripts and athenahealth have all signed on to share data with Apple’s Health app.
The Drive for Data – Google and HCA Healthcare announced an agreement in which Google will develop health-focused algorithms for the hospital chain’s 2,000 hospitals and 32 million annual patient visits.
Integration Is Key – Many healthcare organizations across the country continue to invest heavily in cloud-based ERP (Business Systems) solutions with an eye on integration. With so many patched together systems, investment in software as a service (SaaS) continues to see rapid growth.
Strategic Plans and a Good Roadmap – Many clients have the best success when they approach ERP system upgrades and business systems consolidation the same way clinical systems have traditionally been mapped out and planned. A good strategic plan and roadmap to success over a five-year period is a great way to demonstrate a vision and how it can become a reality.
Price Transparency – CMS has started issuing its first round of warning letters to hospitals not in compliance with the hospital price disclosure rule, which took effect as of January 2021 based on recent audit findings. The price transparency rule indicates that if a hospital is noncompliant, the agency may request a corrective action plan, assess a civil monetary penalty of up to $300 per day or publicize the penalty on a CMS website.
AAPC New Coding Sets Released for FY 2022 ICD-10-PCS Code Files – The FY 2022 ICD-10-PCS code files containing information on the ICD-10-PCS updates for FY 2022, are available via CMS. These FY 2022 ICD-10-PCS codes are to be used for discharges from October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022, and for patient encounters occurring from October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022.
“It’s exciting to see providers and health plans start to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror and move forward with strategic plans,” said Marano. “These next six months will be about strengthening the new workforce, developing a solid virtual care strategy and optimizing IT and analytics to drive additional efficiencies and cost savings. As always, Pivot Point Consulting is available to help navigate these changes and will continue to stay ahead of key industry happenings.”
About Pivot Point Consulting
Pivot Point Consulting enables healthcare organizations to realize the most value from their technology through our Advisory, Enterprise Application Support, EHR, ERP, Data Analytics and Revenue Cycle Management services. Our experts deliver consulting, managed services and talent solutions to providers, payers and life sciences organizations. Pivot Point Consulting has earned multiple industry and workplace quality awards, including Best in KLAS: Overall IT Services Firm (2020), Top Three Best in KLAS for HIT Implementation and Support (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), Highest Rated Vendor in KLAS Implementation Services in the Select Category (2017), #1 in KLAS for Epic Consulting in the Select Category (2016), #9 in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work (2016).
Practices: Epic®, Community Connect®, Cerner®, Siemens®, Allscripts®, MEDITECH®, McKesson®, Centricity®, eClinicalWorks®, NextGen® CPSI®, MEDHOST®, athenahealth®, Greenway®, Workday®, Lawson/Infor®, Peoplesoft®, SAP®, Kronos® and Facets®.
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