While some industries might go through economic crises, natural disasters, or political revolutions and remain intact, healthcare always takes a hit. It gets influenced by inflation, cost of living, and all human-generated changes. Hence, healthcare providers must ensure that their operations are robust and can survive serious threats.
The Kaufman Hall report in 2022 displayed that around 50% of hospitals in the US witnessed negative margins, so expenses exceeded the revenue growth. In light of this dynamic, it is high time to consider cost-saving measures and invest in durable solutions.
Fortunately, as technology advances and becomes more accessible and affordable, software solutions emerge as invaluable aids for businesses—and healthcare is no exception.
Medical Expense Tracking Software: Powered by Data and Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic was undoubtedly a push for healthcare. It gave rise to many technologies focused on providing services remotely. Doctors could not see patients anymore; patients could not just take their prescriptions to the closest pharmacy to get the treatments.
Hence, technology became a life-saving wand that enabled both sides to remain safe yet conduct the necessary communication. Have you considered how it works when a doctor provides online consultation and cannot physically contact the patient to measure blood pressure? A wearable IoT device designed for medical purposes solves this riddle. Technology saves time and money and improves customer experience across industries.
Healthcare is an industry with extensive data circulation, where patients, employees, partners, and suppliers generate valuable data that managers can and should utilize to optimize operations.
Examples of such data include:
- Financial data (expenses, billings, reimbursements);
- Supply chain data (medical equipment procurement, medications, other supplies);
- Staffing data (schedules, shift patterns, labor costs);
- Operational data (patient flow, appointment scheduling, waiting times, cancellations, missed appointments, resource utilization);
- Electronic health records (high-cost procedures, frequent readmissions, medication-related problems).
Without a full picture of resource utilization and expense flow, making well-thought-out and data-driven decisions is impossible. It increases the cost of providing this service and a lower patient satisfaction rate.
Ways to Reduce Healthcare Costs with Data Analytics
Healthcare analytics is the ultimate way to increase human life by changing approaches to identifying and treating diseases. It has another benefit though - cutting costs. The more analytical tools are implemented across industries, the more fruitful the results are.
According to the forecast, some healthcare institutions in 2023 are under particular pressure, leading to their closure or bankruptcy. In 2020, the revenue lost from canceled surgeries reached a record $22.3 billion.
Implementing data analytics into healthcare operations can not only save hospitals but improve the experience of patients.
Predictive analytics and preventive interventions
Cutting the cost of healthcare is a decision that heavily depends on and influences the patient. Prevention of disease and unnecessary patient visits lead to lower expenses. Analyzing medical records and identifying high-risk patients for specific conditions or complications helps implement preventive procedures. They decrease the likelihood of the following hospitalization.
For example, let's say a hospital starts tracking patients at high risk of diabetes. They can introduce lifestyle correction programs and prevent diabetic complications, which are costly for the hospital and the patient.
According to the data provided by Medicare and Medicaid services centers, the savings in fraud reached $210.7 in one year. Data analytics is the key to increasing these savings. Tracking abusive billing practices and fraudulent activities and analyzing claims helps to flag potential fraud cases. Hence, prevent the expenses.
Tracking resource utilization and optimization
The areas where resources are overutilized or underutilized are numerous, and collecting data on the following will help optimize them:
- Bed occupancy: Length of patient stay and discharge patterns help with the bottlenecks and optimize bed allocation, reducing wait times and maximizing bed utilization.
- Operating room efficiency: Data analytics provides insights into surgical schedules, durations of procedures, and turnover time, which helps improve operating room efficiency. As a result, reduced idle time and optimized use of surgical resources.
Data on personnel schedules align staff with patient volumes and reduce unnecessary labor costs. Along with predictive analytics, it forecasts high peak periods to ensure that staffing can meet the demand.
Benefits of Medical Expense Tracking Software for Healthcare Analytics
In healthcare, every dollar spent can potentially improve and save people's lives. Hence, precise expense management cannot be taken for granted. To navigate the financial landscape confidently, every medical organization, from bustling hospitals to intimate clinics, should get medical travel and expense management software.
If you are looking to deliver excellent care with fiscal prudence, here are the benefits you will get from getting this technology:
Real-time spending visibility
Real-time spending visibility enables informed decisions based on insights into the operations of the specific organization. It is a tool for quickly detecting budgetary issues and taking proactive measures to decrease spending.
For financial managers, it is an inevitable tool for establishing transparency and accountability through:
- Instant corporate credit card expense management software;
- Automated categorization;
- Integration with financial systems.
Cost management & optimization
Another characteristic that makes medical expense tracking software irreplaceable for healthcare organizations is the ability to identify cost-saving opportunities. Along with all the optimization measures that can be taken based on bed occupancy staffing, the software shows patterns, redundant expenses, and inefficiencies that would never come to the surface.
Customized reporting for better analytics
With the travel and expense management software, organizations can tailor their reports and make them show the specific analytics:
- Department expense analytics. For example, the manager notices that an emergency department is constantly short on supplies. They can generate department-specific reports and track all operations to determine inefficiencies.
- Vendor spending analysis. Such data helps organizations conduct negotiations with new vendors and find the ones abusing their power. When vendor pricing is not monitored, you might detect an unexpected price increase too late. Negotiating new contracts based on comparing with other vendors and analyzing your financial relationships will be more effective.
- Cost variance analysis. Custom reporting allows you to see the actual spending and compare them to the budgeted amounts. They quickly show the cost spike and help investigate the reasons.
- Time-based expense analysis. Depending on your purpose, annual, monthly, and quarterly reports can reveal much about the organization. They show fluctuations in expenses and help to find patterns, identify reasons, and prepare for the next peak season.
Compliance violations hit healthcare organizations hard. A study of 2000 hospitals showed that only 24% complied with the price transparency policy. The constant struggle to define pricing lies in poor expense management. Compliance reporting is another useful feature of medical expense tracking software that healthcare institutions must implement to prevent policy violations and mitigate risks of fines.
Fraudulent activity is not the only risk that medical institutions face. Among others are vendor-related, operational risks, and policy violations. Introducing the software for tracking expenses enhances risk management practices with risk identification analytics, real-time risk monitoring, and data security. Easy access to structured and detailed data also makes it simple for organizations to prepare for audits.
Improved supplier relationship management
Among the common issues that appear in relations between healthcare organizations and suppliers are:
- Lack of transparency;
- Inaccurate and delayed payments;
- Compliance issues;
- Supplier performance evaluation.
Most of these issues depend on payment control and identifying the risks early. Expense tracking software enables organizations to receive notifications about potential issues and prevent them.
Data-driven decision making
With poor management of finances, healthcare organizations find themselves squeezing blood out of a stone. It leads to low-quality customer service and causes distress for care providers. The expense management software aims to provide the right instruments for the decision-makers to understand the needs of each organization and tailor the budget to them.
How ElifTech Can Help Implement Medical Expense Tracking Software for Healthcare Institutions
The technology market offers healthcare providers multiple solutions, custom-made and out-of-the-box. So if you are struggling to decide what your organization lacks but feel the need to upgrade, ElifTech consulting is up for the challenge.
Expertise in healthcare analytics
Our team combines a deep knowledge of industry best practices with technological capabilities. With the understanding of unique healthcare challenges like regulatory requirements and expertise in data management, we design top-quality analytics solutions for healthcare-related service providers. We can leverage your data to your advantage, get actionable insights, and improve financial performance.
Seamless integration with existing systems
We provide architectural solutions for your ideas. Whether you have an idea of a healthcare management system in mind or need to modernize the existing processes, we have the answer. Understanding the importance of data flow and interoperability, we ensure that the expense tracking solutions we create can seamlessly integrate into the existing systems your company is running on.
Ongoing maintenance and support
We provide ongoing maintenance and support to organizations to ensure the lasting functionality and performance of the software. Timely updates, bug fixes, and enhancements handled by our experts are guaranteed.
Travel and expense management software is a financial lifeboat for healthcare organizations. It helps them navigate the industry's dynamic environment, preventing oversights and leaks in the budget.
Equipping your company with this software gives you a sturdy vessel that protects you from compliance violations and resource overspending. Tracking expenses lets you plan your budget wisely, leading to stability and better operational control.
Check out ElifTech case studies to learn more about our expertise in healthcare software.
Get in touch to start designing your healthcare management system today!
ElifTech is a team of experts in custom healthcare development with a deep understanding of healthcare industry standards. We build scalable, secure, and innovative applications that prioritize customer satisfaction.