The March, 2014 edition of HFMA's (Healthcare Financial Management Association) HFM Magazine features an article titled "Using Business Intelligence to Reduce the Cost of Care" by Health Directions President/CEO Daniel J. Marino.
At a Glance
Healthcare reform is spurring hospitals and health systems, physician groups, and other provider organizations to collaborate to deliver more coordinated care through the creation of clinically integrated networks (CINs) with a focus on population health management. These CINs require meaningful information they can use to proactively manage patient care, utilization, and costs for a defined population. This trend is causing business intelligence (BI) to quickly become a critical component of healthcare financial management.
Yet several obstacles stand in the way of developing effective BI capabilities. First, obtaining complete data is a perennial challenge. The necessary data usually exists in multiple information systems owned by different stakeholders. Second, the data needs to be organized before it will yield useful insights. In particular, most organizations still struggle to tie cost data to clinical data. Third, information alone will not improve care or reduce costs; programs will be required that make use of BI to impact patient care by reducing the cost and improving the quality of that care. Using BI in this way ultimately will provide a basis for CINs to negotiate risk-based contracts that reward participants for controlling costs and improving care quality and patient outcomes.
Finance leaders can play a major role in using BI to reduce care costs. The first step is to understand the four different information strategies that make up an effective BI system:
- Population health analytics
- Risk-based cost analysis
- Performance analytics
- Care management