Health IT – 2024 Health IT Predictions

As we kick off 2024, we wanted to start the new year with a series of 2024 Health IT predictions.  We asked the Healthcare IT Today community to submit their predictions and we received a wide ranging set of responses that we grouped into a number of themes.  In fact, we got so many that we had to narrow them down to just the best and most interesting.  Check out our community’s predictions below and be sure to add your own thoughts and/or places you disagree with these predictions in the comments and on social media.

All of this year’s 2024 health IT predictions (updated as they’re shared):

And now, check out our community’s Health IT predictions.

Dave Bennett, Executive Vice President, Healthcare at pCare by Uniguest
Consumers are seeking a healthcare journey that reflects their goals and will best fit their personalized needs. Now more than ever before, patients are interested in being active participants in their care, selecting the right health partner, and connecting with their providers. In 2024, this will be a continued shift toward seeking an increased level of health literacy and proactive health choices that will reduce preventable conditions. With the help of technology, the ongoing digital, and now cultural, transformation will enable providers and patients to catch health concerns earlier and provide better solutions in the long run.

Robert Connely, Global Market Leader for Healthcare at Pega
As budget conversations begin for 2024, healthcare organizations will adopt a strategic approach to budget tech allocation, prioritizing initiatives that provide compliance with upcoming mandates aimed at prior authorization/denials processes and implementing value-based care models and payment plans, while minimizing disruption that causes staff abrasion and consumer dissatisfaction. Beginning with foundational projects like streamlining patient-provider interactions and addressing administrative challenges, this approach will enhance operational efficiency while also satisfying new regulations. By balancing compliance, innovation, and budget constraints, healthcare organizations will drive better health outcomes, ushering in a more efficient era in healthcare.

Gabriel Mecklenburg, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman at Hinge Health
Gabriel Mecklenburg shares his predictions on how technology will shape healthcare in 2024. Three key trends include 1) the convergence of generative AI and computer vision to deliver more immersive care experiences with high-quality effectiveness; 2) tighter integration between traditional players and digital solutions, which will lead to better, more personalized care; and 3) increased focus on engagement and ROI to lead organizations to be choosier about the solutions they offer to their members.

Grace Nam, Strategic Solutions Manager at Laserfiche
Trends in healthcare technology in 2024 will heavily focus on cost-effective solutions to drive operational efficiency and increase workforce satisfaction for physicians and staff. AI-enhanced workflow tools will be used to enhance existing processes to become more efficient and solve legacy industry challenges such as staffing burnout and the lack of harmonization for healthcare operations.

Interoperability and artificial intelligence will play a large role in the innovation of healthcare technology in 2024 and will be necessary to control the rising needs in healthcare data management and analytics. By allowing AI-enhanced workflow, organizations can implement better data exchange between processes and immediately deliver results in cost and time savings, while significantly improving staff and patient satisfaction.

Personal value-based care will continue to grow in 2024 and it will be critical for healthcare providers to create digital access to support in-person and telehealth visits in order to maximize outcomes for both healthcare organizations and patients while driving consistent operational efficiency.

Eric Demers, CEO at Madaket Health
In 2024, we can expect to see a continued erosion of the margins on the provider side, forcing them to be vigilant in anything they purchase, how they deliver care, how they hire staff, and everything in between. There’s a talent shortage, inflation continues to rise, and more value-based care contracts, meaning there has to be a demonstrable and immediate ROI for anything they pursue.

We can also expect to see more AI and technology, specifically from a talent perspective on the provider side. Healthcare facilities will use AI from an administrative point of view because it’s very difficult to hire in healthcare – there’s a physician shortage, a nursing shortage, and a pharmacist shortage. We expect to see more smart technology and automation in healthcare (i.e. front office staff at a physician’s office) similar to the kiosks we see at retail establishments and restaurants. Healthcare organizations are going to have to address their inefficiencies and how they deliver care.

Greg Kolovich, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at OXOS Medical
Trend #1: Efficiency is everything. Outpatient surgery has become the overwhelming standard. It used to be that patients stayed 3-5 days after a total hip or knee replacement. Now, it is rare to find these patients staying more than 23 hours for observation in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) or hospitals. Hospitals that once relied on inpatient services must now pivot to accommodate fast-paced, outpatient surgery, which means administrators need to supply flip rooms, equipment and staff so surgeons can rapidly churn outpatient cases. No longer can a hospital survive doing 2-3 total knee arthroplasties in one operating room. Hospitals must learn to run like fast-paced private practice ASCs, who benefit from lofty, high-volume facility fees.

Trend #2: Minimally invasive surgery takes over. As technology and techniques rapidly advance, surgeries are getting smaller, more efficient and more accurate. Things like computer navigation, robotic assistance, and headless screws allow for these minimally invasive or percutaneous skeletal fixations. As a result, patients have less pain and swelling, faster recovery of motion, and quicker returns to activity or sport. For example, athletes’ recovery times from ACL/UCL reconstructions basically halved in time from what they used to be.

Trend #3: WALANT is on the rise. As physician reimbursement and facility reimbursement continue to decline every year, hand surgeons look for ways to efficiently operate on patients without the cost, need and risk for general anesthesia. “Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet,” or WALANT, is emerging as a great way to treat patients the same day with little to no risk, and very little overhead (no need for anesthesiologist, anesthesia machines, large and expensive drapes, RNs, ORs, etc.). Procedures such as carpal tunnel releases, finger fracture pinnings, trigger finger releases, tendon repairs or tenolysis, and fracture reductions can be done in a procedure room under local anesthesia without large overhead.

Bob McCullough, Vice President of Clinical Strategy at Kooth Digital Health
With health systems looking to deliver better health outcomes at a lower cost, trends we can expect to see in healthcare delivery in 2024 include continued adoption of digital health tools, more public-private partnerships, and a renewed focus on early interventions and preventative care. With the shortage of healthcare professionals in the U.S., digital health tools will allow for expanded access to high-quality care, increased patient engagement, and more efficient care delivery. This will be further amplified through public-private partnerships between digital health providers and states, boards of education, community colleges and universities, and other community organizations. All of this will allow for preventative care, whether through earlier cancer screenings or providing equitable access to behavioral health tools that build resilience in young people.

Sherry Rais, Co-Founder and CEO at Enthea
Increased focus on mental and emotional well-being: Employers will continue to prioritize mental health benefits, offering more comprehensive coverage and support programs. This will be driven by the growing recognition of the importance of mental health to overall well-being and productivity.

Personalized benefits: Employers will offer more personalized benefits packages, tailored to the individual needs of their employees. This will be enabled by advances in data analytics and technology.

Focus on preventive care: Employers and health insurers will focus on preventive care, as a way to reduce costs and improve health outcomes. This will include offering incentives for employees to participate in preventive screenings and wellness programs.

Rise of value-based care: Value-based care models, which reward providers for improving patient outcomes, will become more common. This may lead to a shift away from fee-for-service payments.

Growth of digital health: Digital health technologies, such as wearable devices and health apps, will become more widely used to monitor and manage health. Employers and insurers will offer incentives for employees to use these technologies.

In the long term, this will hopefully lead to employees using their mental health benefits more, but employers spending less. This is because employers will be investing in more effective mental health programs and services, which will lead to a reduction in healthcare costs.

Naimish Patel, Head of Healthcare Practice & Chief Growth Officer at Red Cell Partners
Economic slowdown will bring a reckoning for healthtech startups. We will see more startups with flawed business models fail, as the bar for delivering meaningful outcomes and customer traction continues to rise. In terms of specific market segments, we’ll see the market cool for anything DTC, Employer or Commercial – but investor interest in care delivery will remain robust.

Digital health will face another year of hard reset. Today, the digital health market has too many point solutions, massive amounts of consolidation happening, and lots of companies with upside down cap tables. 2024 will bring another year of hard reset. Afterwards, while there will still be new innovation, we’ll just get back to realistic expectations.

Healthcare will adopt AI, slowly but surely. I expect we will see AI impact healthcare through many small improvements, although it’s unlikely that we will see a single product that moves the market significantly.

Neechi Mosha, MD, MBA, SVP Growth at Clarify Health
In 2024, the healthcare landscape will continue to be driven by both the consolidation of traditional players (providers and health plans), while also seeing a greater number of new entrants (PE/VC-backed companies) and disruptors (grocery chains, big tech) making big moves to further establish themselves as healthcare companies. Provider organizations will face increasing competition in this environment and need to identify strategies to maintain their independence and/or sustain their business models. Diversifying services, particularly in outpatient settings of care, will be of utmost importance to capture more patients and retain existing patients across more points in their care journeys.

Overall, a combination of technological advancements, demographic shifts, increasing costs, regulatory initiatives, evolving reimbursement models, and a changing healthcare paradigm will have a variety of effects on growth and sustainability in the healthcare sector. Healthcare leaders will need to operate at the forefront of the curve across all these dimensions and will continue to turn to data-driven decision making to do so. In doing so, leaders must move from seeking any/all data to leveraging the data that is most refined and most accurate to cut through the noise and find the right answers.

Ankit Gupta, Founder and CEO at Bicycle Health
The opioid epidemic is the most acute and urgent public health crisis in America. Unfortunately, it can be extremely challenging for patients across the country to access affordable treatment that actually works. But in our work treating patients with opioid use disorder, we’ve seen first-hand that telemedicine can help people find long-term recovery.

2023 was a tipping point for telehealth treatment. Now it comes down to expanding and protecting access to that treatment. Part of that comes down to regulation: I predict that lawmakers up for re-election next year will support the TREATS Act and the SUPPORT Act. There has also been incredible progress in the private sector in expanding access to care. Across the healthcare ecosystem, I expect retail pharmacies, payors, and providers to continue teaming up with telehealth startups to deliver affordable, specialized care for patients. Bicycle Health for example, is now working with Albertsons pharmacies to allow patients struggling with opioid addiction to receive life-saving medications conveniently and without stigma.

Ellen DaSilva, Co-Founder and CEO at Summer Health
1) The portability of data to deeply understand patients has been severely restricted (mostly by HIPAA but I won’t go on the record against it), so there’s a lot of information we’ll never be able to meld. With an increased number of touch points with the health system comes a more personalized approach to medicine.

2) Over 60% of pediatricians said that they were burnt out and unhappy in their current practice in 2022. I think that’s because we’ve underinvested in and under-resourced our pediatricians. Most of them love their jobs and want to continue to practice medicine, but the traditional system doesn’t afford them the kind of payment they deserve nor is the system set up for the kind of all-access care families want. There is a big demand from pediatricians to focus only on practice medicine and do away with the administrative burdens placed on them. Supply and demand isn’t actually as imbalanced as people say, but we do need to harness the talent of pediatricians in a different model.

3) Concierge primary care will become in much higher demand in 2024 for a certain portion of the market. DPC (direct primary care) has been focused on adults, but will shift to peds because of a willingness to pay.

Scott Pross, Vice President of Technology at Monalytic, a SolarWinds Company
2024 is going to be a transformational year for healthcare, as IT modernization efforts will improve the practitioner and patient experience. To support these efforts, we expect healthcare IT leaders to adopt new approaches to network management, including AI-enhanced monitoring (AIOps) and observability. Together, these approaches can alleviate resource constraints by automating certain tasks, while giving IT teams a comprehensive view across the entire network, helping to detect hidden vulnerabilities.

With the support of these tools, IT leaders can focus on moving IT monitoring out of the basement and into the boardroom by leveraging dashboards to arm decision makers with key data. It’s critical that practitioners are able to view the status of their networks across the organization as their decisions impact the quality of patient care.

As modernization occurs, tool sprawl and new network vulnerabilities are inevitable. IT leaders must put the safety and security measures in place to protect the integrity of the network and high-profile assets like patients’ personal identifiable information.

Craig Worland, COO at Southeast Primary Care Partners
In 2024, there will be a surge of healthcare transactions from companies that would like to sell, but have been waiting on the market to improve. As interest rates peak and begin to fall, we will see a flurry of deals, some possibly below market prices, indicating a shift towards a buyer’s market. Unlike the previous few years, companies will prioritize margin over growth. Major deals are expected to target organizations demonstrating growth in profitability. Large organizations, including non-profit health systems, may strategically divest unprofitable assets to bolster margins.

The healthcare landscape will likely witness challenges and adjustments in Medicare Advantage programs. After a blockbuster year in 2023, Humana Medicare Advantage is projected to slow down in 2024 as efforts are made to increase the PMPY margin. In response, United Healthcare is forecasting robust growth, leveraging its strong balance sheet and free cash flows to remain competitive.

Rural healthcare will be front and center in 2024, signifying a recognition of the unique challenges and opportunities present in these areas.

The healthcare industry will grapple with the implications of the No-Surprises Act, as professional fees paid by health systems to physician groups have seen unprecedented increases. This is expected to exert downward pressure on hospital margins, leading some health systems to consider divesting physician groups, with strategic entities likely to be the primary acquirers.

V28 will create mayhem for well-established at-risk groups who have RAFs at 2+. This will drive an increased focus on reducing the total cost of care, prompting investments and acquisitions in the care management space. Looking ahead, I predict that Medicare will introduce additional measures in 2024 that are targeted to reduce the impact of coding alone.

David Stein, Co-Founder and CEO at Ash Wellness
Any digital innovation health companies that want to survive and make an impact will have to work within traditional healthcare infrastructure (e.g., payers, health systems, etc.). Startups that try to radically rework existing healthcare structures are likely to run out of runway in 2024 before they become profitable. Fewer consumers are willing to pay out of pocket, and there’s less venture money in the cycle to subsidize the cost of interventions.

Gene Huang, Executive Chairman at ReferWell
In 2024, we will continue to see vendor consolidation from health plans. Payers will look to retain vendors that can solve more than one pain point rather than continuing to invest in single-issue solutions. Simultaneously, point solutions with compelling use cases will see this as an opportunity to build even more partnerships with healthcare organizations who are looking to differentiate themselves from competitors and drive more compelling results for their health plan clients.

Aasim Saeed, Founder and CEO at Amenities Health
1.) Is there a topic you believe we will all be talking about next year?
In 2024, we should start talking about how to modernize health system websites. Although the pain point isn’t new, consumer expectations and competition from retail and tech continue to raise the bar. That means health systems will be looking for ways to upgrade their provider search, with accurate provider data, search by next available appointment and the ability to quickly book an appointment (at minimum with primary care). This will be the new ‘table stakes’ for any leading health system, in a major market or otherwise.

2.) Is there a hot new technology that you think will take the industry by storm?
“Digital Front Door” has been a bit of a Rorschach Test for the last 5 years, but you will start to see meaningful changes in the market related to minimizing friction for patients trying to access health systems. This will look markedly different than the traditional patient portals and dated websites that are the hallmark of the “maximize our current investments” strategy deployed by most health systems. Instead, patients will start to see consumer-grade tools that make it easy to download, register, book and conduct visits – all fully integrated into major EMRs. Once that becomes the norm, every lagging health system will scramble to keep up and a better digital patient experience will become the norm.

3.) Will there be a new regulation that will land in our laps?
For healthcare marketing, the highest demand digital asset is a provider’s schedule and the ability to book an appointment. Unfortunately, all the recent government regulations focused on interoperability exclusively focus on liberating patient data. In other words, there’s little to no momentum for the equal treatment of provider data, which means that data critical for an improved patient experience may continue to be locked away in EHRs.

Surya Singh, CEO at InformedDNA
I believe/predict health plans, providers, and patients will begin witnessing the evolution of precision medicine into precision health. Personalized medicine–i.e., targeted therapies, mainly monoclonal antibodies–has progressed over the past decade to precision medicine, which includes specialty drugs, as well as newer cell and gene therapies. In 2024, we’ll see the next step in this evolution, as precision medicine continues advancing to precision health.

Precision health aims to leverage genetics and genomics for screening, prevention and early diagnosis. Similar to therapeutic preventive principles, precision health enables us to proactively assess individuals’ health risks and stratify patient populations. As precision health gains traction, we will increasingly be able to assess genomic profiles along other intrinsic, environmental, and societal factors to ensure patients receive the longitudinal monitoring and screenings they need to maintain their best possible health.

I believe/predict the value derived from precision health will grow because of improvements in implementation. In 2024, we will make inroads like never before in using implementation science to advance the use of both precision health and precision medicine tools along each person’s health journey. The continuous march of phenomenal scientific advances in precision medicine that we’ve seen over the last decades will not slow or cease. To the contrary, it will continue. However, our prevailing problem in achieving precision health is one of implementation – not one of scientific advances. Therefore, we will rally to accelerate addressing the major impediments to using the existing, on-market advances most effectively for individuals–namely workflow, stakeholder incentives, and reimbursement.

I believe/predict we will enable more equitable, high-value healthcare at scale. The U.S. lacks a robust public health infrastructure. As a result, healthcare quality differs from region to region and person to person. For example, the average diagnosis for certain cancers is almost a full stage later in certain states.

But physicians and payers need not “boil the ocean” in an attempt to rectify these inequities by ramping up utilization of various services across the populations they treat and manage. This year, precision health-oriented tools and capabilities will help level the playing field by making smarter and easier stratification possible, thereby identifying subpopulations of patients most in need of modified screening plans for cancers and other complex diseases. Thus, within the bounds of limited resources, the adoption of precision health will enable providers and health plans alike to focus their preventive screening efforts and optimize outcomes at scale.

I believe/predict interpretation of -omic tests already being performed will improve, driven by better analytics and use of human expertise. Genetic test results must be interpreted in a way that is: a) correct, b) usable for community physicians, and c) easily explained to patients. While the potential for using AI-enabled tools to supplement human interpretation is large, these tools simply can’t deliver the same understanding, empathy, and integrative path forward that skilled clinicians–such as genetic counselors and pharmacists–can offer. Therefore, person-to-person communication and conversations will remain crucial to the success of precision health in oncology, pharmacogenomics, maternity care, and beyond.

Travis Palmquist, SVP and GM, Emerging Markets at PointClickCare
Digitization of care will increase collaboration and vastly improve care outcomes. The goal for any care provider is to drive the best outcomes for their resident. To truly achieve this, you need the right data-driven insights and improved collaboration across care teams. At its core, it’s simple. You start with the right technology solutions that will offer access to the right data insights at the point of care. With the right data, providers can more accurately understand the needs of their patients, enabling collaboration across the entire care team. Technology pulls everyone involved in a patient’s care together, allowing them to communicate instantaneously and compliantly.

In 2024, we’ll see a shift to proactive care. Care teams will explore ways to digitize their workflows more and collaborate and coordinate across all points of care. Not only will this help to save time and increase efficiency for care providers, but ultimately it will help to drive better outcomes for residents, keeping them out of the hospital and as healthy as possible for longer.

Daniel Cane, CEO at ModMed
About 30% of the bloated cost of healthcare spending – nearly 20% of our GDP – is considered waste. In 2024, we will see industry stakeholders coalesce in an effort to reduce unnecessary spending. Ambient listening technology, an AI-powered tool that saves physicians from typing their own clinical notes, has emerged as an early example of such a solution. I expect to see a wave of technologies aimed at saving time and resources for care providers, insurers, pharmacies and patients.

Rikki Jennings, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer at Zebra Technologies
Driving to comply with digital health regulations continue to drive tech modernization and automation. Digital health is here to stay. This means the need to transform and adhere to digital healthcare standards is non-negotiable for healthcare providers. As the norm is to ID everyone and everything in all healthcare settings, the industry will be focused on digital identity for all patients and assets to improve asset management. Data transparency among all enterprise stakeholders is dramatically increasing. Healthcare leaders have an opportunity to build trust with partners and customers by proactively becoming more transparent.

Over 60 countries have now enacted digital health regulations and/or Ministry of Health digital mandates which include unique device identification (UDI) and medication serialized marking. Both UDI and medication serialized marking provide a digital identifier on medical devices used in patients, such as a pacemaker, and medications given to patients, essentially providing the ability to track and trace a device or medication. As hospitals implement the digitization to comply with these regulations, they’ll reduce adverse product recall and inventory events and falsified medical product use. Another benefit will be accelerating HIMSS Stage 7 implementations, the highest level that a healthcare organization can reach to shows it is leveraging technology in a useful and meaningful way.

According to Forrester, labor shortages will double the medication error rate among providers. Extra vigilance can be added with the help of barcode medication administration and IV infusion safety systems, and electronic health records to intercept adverse drug events. Expect IT teams to continue to spend on technology modernization with an emphasis on laying a solid, long-term framework that can support rapid solution scaling in the years to come. The feedback loop between science and technology is getting faster, with each accelerating the advancement of the other.

Technology will be leveraged more to reduce preventable errors. Hospitals can be dangerous places with at least one in 20 patients affected by preventable patient harm, with 12% of this group suffering from permanent disability or dying because of it. Obviously, safety is the top priority for hospitals/healthcare and one patient harmed from medical error is one too many. To help reduce preventable errors, strengthen decision support and provide stronger healthcare protocols, hospitals will continue to leverage technology.

9 in 10 hospital decision-makers say they will increase spend on clinical mobility, with the push for clearer communications and greater workforce productivity core to this strategy change according to Zebra’s Healthcare Vision Study. They will be investing more heavily in care-team communication point of care mobile device utilization, barcode utilization and compliance rates and cleaning and disinfectant utilization and compliance. Additionally, mobile alerting systems will make it easier to deploy, manage and use with enterprise-grade clinical smartphones that have security and privacy-centric feature sets along with remote management capabilities.

Terry Boch, CEO at Clarify Health
I see greater efforts in the coming year to break out of our existing model for delivering and paying for healthcare, and promoting healthcare affordability by strategically aligning the economic flows of payments to the clinical actions that generate the most value. I predict in 2024, healthcare will see the most significant leap forward in generative artificial intelligence to improve patient care and resource allocation, where clinicians will get the data-driven insights and support they need to make high-value care selections for patients and get rewarded in the process. This will not be easy given our continued post-pandemic challenges of a stretched healthcare system and provider burnout so we must all keep our eye on our mission to change the current model by bringing new technology and approaches to healthcare to encourage the system to change.

Chad Baugh, Chief Revenue Officer at ReferWell
In 2024, I expect a pivot toward services and technologies that remove the complexities and manual processes in healthcare, to guide health plans and providers to more effortlessly connect patients with care.|In recent years, there has been a major focus in healthcare on improving care delivery, or more pointedly, access to care delivery. This move has spurred efforts to create a range of tools designed to track patient engagement, get them on the path to get their colonoscopy, their mammogram, or schedule their annual wellness exam. While these well-intentioned efforts have given patients and providers a toolbox full of useful instruments, they have failed to achieve the ultimate goal of improving the member experience and access to care. There are far too many services and technologies to keep track of, integrate into, and act upon to effect change.

Plans and providers are looking for outcomes. Economically they’ll take a comprehensive look at the technologies they have integrated into their respective platforms and optimize to include only those that go the distance. One-off solutions will be discarded for those that solve a problem for all parties rather than only one or two. These value-optimized solutions will ultimately make it easier for patients to engage effectively with their provider or health plan to get access to the care they need, resulting in happier, healthier and more satisfied members, a win-win-win for the healthcare ecosystem.

Ziv Ofek, CEO at MDClone
For health systems, paramount over the next few years – but especially 2024 – will be creating and retaining a competitive edge in a highly innovative market. I’ve seen leaps and bounds in discovery and innovation just in the last two years and the pace is accelerating. Health systems that can embrace a continuous learning and continuous improvement model as part of their DNA will be best positioned to take advantage of the pace of innovation and avoid being left behind.

Mark Van Sumeren, General Manager, Healthcare at LogicSource
In response to the increasing issue of labor costs, health system managers and leaders find themselves at a critical juncture, necessitating a proactive stance to advocate for increased investments and initiatives targeting non-labor cost reduction. This vital strategy emphasizes viable operating improvement projects with demonstrable ROI, all under an optimized supply chain.

However, hospital leaders are making a critical misstep as they continue to engage their workforce in pursuing myriad cost-saving initiatives that yield minimal impact on the overarching challenge. The repetitive nature of these efforts, mirroring outdated strategies, reflects an expectation of different outcomes.

The best health system leaders have discarded these approaches as too little, too late, by instead focusing the best of their workforce on core competencies and strategies. In doing so, leaders wrestle control of non-core improvement initiatives from entrenched insiders who prioritize protecting existing structures over embracing transformative changes. In essence, the forecast for 2024 underscores the imperative for healthcare leaders to break free from traditional paradigms, ensuring that their workforce is aligned with initiatives that bring about substantial, sustainable change in their health system operations and finances. Their role will depend on it.

Julie Frey, Head of Product – Provider Segment, Clinical Effectiveness at Wolters Kluwer Health
Mental health care is the new primary care |The COVID-19 pandemic saw a sharp rise in people of all ages seeking mental and behavioral health treatment. The result? Primary care is now also mental healthcare. This demand has strained the healthcare system and the healthcare workforce. While there is a focus on ways to bring more providers into the system, that may take years. We predict healthcare organizations will begin to look for solutions that will enable their staff to meet this demand and offer support for diagnosis and the titration of drugs.

Shamika Mazyck, Associate at Quarles
In 2024, we will continue to see private equity firms invest in healthcare businesses. The investments will support the development of innovative healthcare delivery models that facilitate care outside the traditional acute hospital or clinical office setting. Examples of these services, include but are not limited to, expanding access via telehealth, performing infusion services in the home, and decentralized clinical trials.

Because revenue goals may drive private equity firms, we anticipate there will be increasing calls for regulatory scrutiny around these deals as well as operations and priorities of healthcare businesses owned or controlled by investment companies of various types. Thus, is it will be imperative that firms and business leaders in these deals engage a team of subject matter experts (e.g., health care providers, legal professionals, billing experts) to understand the operational aspects and compliance requirements of these models fully. From a health equity perspective, it will be crucial for business leaders and firm managers to engage healthcare professionals and diverse community leaders to ensure operations are implemented in a compliant manner that increase access while meeting the standard of care.

Linda Perryclear, Product Leader at Availity
It’s such an exciting time in healthcare – the healthcare system is stressed and the potential to alleviate that stress via new technologies has come to a head. With health systems already adopting the use of AI in the clinical space, we have a glide path for using it in revenue cycle management as well. One area is the potential for predictive editing – where an AI algorithm that focuses on the subset of denials that are most likely to be avoided and corrected are proactively surfaced for providers, so that they can focus on the efforts that will reap the most rewards. The algorithm’s predictive capabilities are based in its ability to analyze claims data across a broad network for provider organizations, as well as policies specific to individual payers. In 2024, I see massive potential for responsible AI to augment/streamline revenue cycle processes with clinical data and bring real efficiencies to tasks such as denial management, pre-service eligibility, and authorizations.

Anthony Hare, Snr. Director Healthcare Strategy – Finance at Infor
Looking ahead at 2024, the continued focus, enforcement and compliance with the Hospital Price Transparency Act will be integral to ensuring physical and financial wellbeing for patients. In order to meet the demands of the bill, the healthcare industry will be forced to adopt transparency in pricing, costs and business models.

Clayton Bain, CEO at Salucro
In 2024, healthcare providers will be looking for payments and billing vendors that can not only meet patient demands, but also drive a seamless end-to-end patient financial engagement workflow. Salucro data shows that deep workflow integration with a provider’s chosen EHR is the most important consideration when evaluating a new healthcare financial technology solution. Regardless of the chosen solution, healthcare organizations should seek out vendors who can create workflow-driven, deeply integrated solutions that improve collection results and enhance revenue cycle processes.

Persistently changing EHR requirements and access of new functionality restricted to pre-approved vendors underscores the importance of vendor adaptability and strategic alignment. I expect these regulations and prerequisites to evolve and grow in the years ahead, so healthcare providers should select vendors that are not only compliant, but continually innovating to meet organization-specific needs.

Joe Dore, President at USBenefits
While consumers may appreciate competitive pricing and coverage terms, what they may not be aware of is the possibility of the insurance carrier(s) creating issues in the near future. Kicking the proverbial can down the road only makes the situation worse for the consumer with possible rapid and large rate increases or worse by experiencing a reduction and/or lack of coverage, which generally leads to predatorial pricing.

Availability of capital creating market capacity (supply & demand) and the carrier’s financial obligations to stakeholders are the driving elements to suppressed pricing. However, insurance is a unique industry whereby revenue is not just based the products sold, but its profitability (aka underwriting loss ratio) as well. Too often, our industry is focused on writing premium, for the benefit of investment returns, until the wheels for the loss ratio comes off the rails. Then the carrier reacts after the fact with rate increases, amended coverages and/or imposes an underwriting moratorium at the expense of the consumer.

When speaking of loss ratio, sound underwriting should question whether the risk was underpriced or were the exposures not fully underwritten (aka risk selection). Most often in today’s environment, it’s the former.

Further, while respective regulators and credit bureaus have the responsibility of evaluating the carrier’s financial well-being to mitigate the events noted in the preceding paragraph, often their intervention could have been more proactive.

Make no mistake that capitalism is the foundation of America, however to what degree of turmoil be allowed whereby undermining the premise of insurance to act as a social and economic ballast?

Granted this perspective is oversimplifying a very dynamic industry. Nonetheless, the question remains – is the insurance industry behaving responsibly or have we taken a page from the Ford Pinto playbook?

Andrew Harding, Co-Founder and VP of Customer Success at Rivet
Following an economically tumultuous year for healthcare organizations, the need to protect the financial health of their businesses and improve revenue performances is increasingly imperative as we approach 2024. While healthcare organizations continue to grapple with a complex and unpredictable market, the success of their business is contingent upon their ability to accurately forecast their net revenue in the year ahead.

Currently, net revenue is being forecasted using inaccurate information based on static, inconsistent and historical aggregate data. As a result of this, healthcare organizations are basing their operational decisions on unclear and untrustworthy financial figures. In 2024, we can anticipate an increased focus among healthcare organizations to invest in more efficient real-time revenue forecasting solutions equipped to provide precise, repeatable, and fine-tuned measurements for improved revenue and operational performance.

Cindy Adkins, Director of Revenue Cycle Solutions at MediQuant
Significant revenue cycle impacts in 2024 – aside from routine days in receivables outstanding, denials, and clean claims – will be maintaining productivity for cash flow and price transparency for patient billing access. Functions such as collecting payments, insurance claims, and managing cash flow are frequently accomplished remotely now but require a high measure of productivity. I predict a higher level of focus will be given to ensure collections continue without interruptions.

Be sure to check out all of Healthcare IT Today’s Health IT content and all of our other 2024 healthcare IT predictions.

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