84% Of Struggling Hospitals Put Population Health On Hold

Jennifer Bresnick | Health IT Analytics | November 4, 2014

Population health management is on the back burner for the majority of hospitals attempting to retool their revenue cycle infrastructure.

The majority of financially struggling hospitals may be pinning their hopes for a brighter future on population health management and clinical analytics infrastructure, according to a new Black Book poll, but not until after they make critical investments in the “must-haves” for 2015.  Surgical and diagnostic patient services, patient engagement tools, and EHR implementations will consume the attention of 84% of financially insolvent organizations until at least 2016 as hospitals attempt to recover from bad investments, over-extended budgets, and a dire need for better revenue cycle tools.

More than 2,300 hospital CFOs, CIOs, business office managers, and technical staffers responded to a series of Black Book studies centered on revenue cycle management (RCM) between June and October of 2014.  Forty percent of CFOs identified their organizations as “struggling” with maintaining solvency, largely due to poorly planned investments in EHRs and patient portals.  Failed EHR implementations have cost some hospitals tens of millions in unforeseen expenses, pushing off other health IT projects until the organization can find its feet again.

While 86% of struggling CFOs recognize that bringing in next-generation RCM and financial analytics technologies is the key to achieving stability, nearly three-quarters of respondents believe that they are being asked to make a difficult decision about RCM products without enough financing to bring in their optimal solution.  Eighty-seven percent of smaller hospitals believe that the lack of a solid RCM strategy will contribute to declining reimbursements, unrecovered collections, and inefficient billing that will reduce their capacity to be profitable throughout 2015...