SAP White Paper: Health System Executives Seek New Ways to Reduce Costs and Tackle the Patient Experience

A study of 100 healthcare executives identified two issues to be top of mind for health systems in the coming three years: addressing the cost pressures that have resulted from declining reimbursements, and improving the patient experience.

Key Observations from the Research

  • Health systems are focused on addressing cost pressures resulting from declining reimbursements and improving the patient experience as retail, finance, and travel consumerism continue to influence expectations in healthcare.
  • Healthcare executives believe that key initiatives required to reduce costs and improve the patient experience include identifying and scaling operational efficiencies, enabling interoperability, increasing visibility into data across the enterprise, and improving patient engagement.
  • Health systems are investing in solutions to
    support initiatives that directly impact the
    patient experience and the bottom line: ERP,
    supply chain, human resource management,
    and revenue cycle.

Access the Press Release and Whitepaper

Download the Whitepaper: Rising to Meet Healthcare Challenges

Navigating the New Complexities of Provider Credentialing: A Porter Research Report

It’s no secret that virtually every component of the healthcare industry is undergoing massive disruption due to rapidly evolving regulatory and reimbursement environments. The provider data management space, also known as the provider credentialing data and services space, is no exception.

This once relatively quiet, highly administrative function within hospitals is now under the spotlight to help improve patient safety and protect organizations from fraudulent activity while also identifying new efficiencies that support cost containment and quality goals.

Key Observations from the Research

Nearly 90% of respondents are currently using a data management tool today, with the remaining 10% relying on their own systems and spreadsheets. This reflects a mature, saturated market in which vendors must differentiate themselves on value-added services, while providers must sift through subtle differences in core capabilities.

Market Dynamics Require New Ways of Interacting with Health Plan Members

HealthEdge® — a provider of modern, disruptive technology that enables health insurers to leverage new business models, improve outcomes, reduce administrative costs and connect everyone in the healthcare delivery cycle — commissioned Porter Research to conduct a survey of 2,500 health plan members across the United States to gauge their opinions on customer service issues.  The survey responses clearly indicated that health plans must quickly tune their offerings and provide service levels that match or exceed the expectations of their members, or risk losing those members to their competitors in today’s new, consumer-oriented marketplace.

Overall Takeaways

Surveyed consumers expect organizations in their healthcare ecosystem to more effectively communicate with them and supply information and services in a way that is as convenient as their experience in other industries.  Booking a trip, checking a bank account balance and ordering goods and services online are routine transactions in travel, banking and retail. Health plans were poorly rated by comparison among respondents, but have multiple opportunities to improve communications and services with their members.

Examples include:

>> 88% of survey respondents across all demographics state that their health plan could be doing a better job of communicating their total financial responsibility.

>> Incentives for healthy behaviors, including diet and exercise, are very popular.

>> Members care if their health plans lag behind in tech-savviness.

View the complete questionnaire and response results in HealthEdge’s Market Dynamics Require New Ways of Interacting with Health Plan Members report.

The Voice of Healthcare IT in Georgia

A comprehensive look at the top challenges facing Georgia’s hospitals, physician practices and healthcare IT vendors

Each year, the Institute for Health Information Technology™ (IHIT) — an independent, non-profit organization focused on advancing the needs of Georgia’s healthcare IT community — has Porter Research conduct an industry survey to document the latest healthcare IT issues that are impacting the State’s citizens, care providers and businesses.

While previous IHIT reports have analyzed the workforce development needs, this year’s report took a more holistic approach to capturing and analyzing the top challenges impacting all major components of Georgia’s healthcare IT community:  hospitals, physicians practices, and vendors who support these organizations with software and services.

The purpose for this year’s study was to capture and report on the thoughts and opinions of healthcare professionals who are shaping the healthcare IT landscape in Georgia.  Among the more than 100 professionals who participated in the survey, the largest group of respondents came from the vendor/consultant community (46%) and hospitals (27%).  While a fewer number of physicians responded (7%), we can still gain directional insight from this group.

According to findings, the top five areas that all respondent groups agreed were important are:

• Access to trained resources
• Cybersecurity
• Access to care and affordability of care
• Clinical data analytics
• Value-based care reimbursement models

To learn more about the above key findings & common ground issues, as well as about other insights shared by survey respondents and the recommended opportunities for improvement, click the link below to access the 2016 IHIT Voice of Healthcare IT in Georgia Report.

What You Don’t Know Could Be Costing You

How Claims Are Processed Can Cost Auto Insurers More than Realized

The aftermath of a traffic accident can generate a lot of claim activity for auto insurance companies.  Issuing payments on the behalf of policyholders for emergency services, physicians, and hospitals in case of injury or to body shops, towing companies and rental car companies for vehicle repair can be both expensive and time sensitive.  Generating these payments is only a part of the process.  Monitoring payments and reconciliation of those payments requires attention and logistical follow-up.

VPay (Richardson, TX)—a provider of complete turn-key business-to-business claims payment solutions—had Porter Research perform an online bulletin board focus group (BBFG) consisting of executives from mutual insurance companies located around the nation.  The insurance leaders shared their industry insights about claims processing issues, specifically information about their…

• Strategic objectives to manage claims processing costs
• Barriers of converting from paper checks to electronic payments
• Most significant factors they use to evaluate an outsourced solution

To view the complete findings, as well as to read ‘The Road Ahead’—a brief summary from VPay President Jeff Brown about new payment solutions that are emerging in response to industry mandates and technology advances, click the link below.

What Keeps Healthcare Finance Executives Up at Night?

In light of the complicated revenue cycle management optimization challenges that hospitals face today, Connance and Porter Research recently teamed up to find out more about the top priorities and action plans that are at the forefront of senior financial executives’ minds.

Connance–a leading provider of predictive analytics solutions that personalize the financial and clinical experience for patients–had Porter Research contact hospital CFO’s earlier this year to identify their top RCM initiatives.

Key findings from the research included:

• The average revenue cycle team has 14 priority initiatives.
• Patient receivables as well as denials and underpayments are two areas of priorities.

The findings also included the CFO’s approach to addressing the top 10 initiatives to close the gap between current performance and aspired performance.

To get complete details, click below to read the “What Keeps Healthcare Finance Executives Up at Night?  And What Are They Planning to Do About It?” whitepaper.

Georgia’s 2015 Healthcare IT Workforce Needs for Healthcare Providers

The non-profit Institute for Healthcare Information Technology (IHIT) had Porter Research perform a research study to get insight from Georgia’s healthcare providers — Hospitals, Healthcare Systems and Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers — regarding IT workforce readiness, specifically to learn about their unique challenges related to IT job fulfillment.

The research project included reaching out to more than 3,000 key professionals employed at healthcare providers located throughout the State of Georgia to answer the following questions…

» What are the most significant issues healthcare providers face in recruiting healthcare  IT workers?
» Where are they concentrating their job recruitment efforts?
» What role – and at what level – can the educational system play in addressing the significant workforce development issues identified by survey participants?

Some key takeaways based upon survey responses found the following:

  • More than 80% of respondents stated their IT budget will increase over the next five years, with the top priority areas for IT spending being:
    • Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)
    • Cyber Security
    • Medical Device Integration
  • Almost half (48%) of respondents stated their organizations are currently using Telemedicine technologies and have plans to “expand” their usage in the future.
  • 43% of respondents stated their organizations are currently using Mobile Health technologies and have plans to “expand” their usage in the future.

To read the Georgia Healthcare IT Workforce Needs for Healthcare Providers whitepaper, which includes proposed recommendations to improve training for the healthcare IT workforce, click below.

Georgia’s 2014 Healthcare IT Workforce Readiness Survey

The non-profit Institute for Healthcare Information Technology (IHIT) commissioned Porter Research to conduct an online survey of Healthcare IT Suppliers (vendors) and Purchasers (hospitals, clinicians) across Georgia to gauge the status of their plans to expand and hire from within the state, as well as their perceptions of how well-equipped Georgia’s educational institutions are to provide qualified Healthcare IT candidates.

The responses were collected to produce the Georgia Healthcare IT Workforce Readiness Survey – 2014 whitepaper, which contains key findings and action items, such as:

• 79% of all respondents stated that their organization currently has Healthcare IT jobs available for employment.

• 64% of all respondents stated they have growth/expansion plans that include the State of Georgia over the next five years

To review the Georgia Healthcare IT Workforce Readiness Survey whitepaper, click below.

About IHIT: 

The organization was founded for the purpose of connecting resources for the advancement of healthcare through technology in a way that has not yet been achieved elsewhere.  They play a unique role in this coordination by leveraging the strength of the Healthcare IT industry within Georgia and the Southeastern U.S. to expand technology throughout the broader U.S. healthcare system.  Visit

Physician Practice ICD-10 Readiness Survey: Seven Key Survey Findings and Action Items

Navicure – a leading Internet-based medical claims clearinghouse that helps physician practices increase profitability through improved claims reimbursement and staff producitivity – recently commissioned Porter Research to conduct primary research amongst physician practices to better understand their ICD-10 preparation progress, resource availability and technology readiness.

More than 500 respondents from physician practices of various sizes and specialties across the U.S. answered the survey. Key survey findings include:

  • Practices consider training and lack of payer readiness to be the biggest ICD-10 challenges.
  • 52% of practices are most concerned with disruptions to cash flow once the new code set goes into effect.

Of those who haven’t started preparations:

  • 36% believe they have enough time to prepare for the Oct. 1, 2014 deadline
  • 26% do not have the time, staff or training resources available to begin preparation
  • 22% don’t know where to begin ICD-10 planning

Getting Inside the Minds of Healthcare Buyers

Porter Research President Cynthia Porter recently presented a webinar entitled “Getting Inside the Minds of Healthcare Buyers” that included the newest market research techniques and analytical models in use today.  In addition to learning ways to capture more meaningful healthcare market intelligence, attendees were presented with valuable insight into how to transform this data into actionable knowledge that illuminates competitive challenges, enhances product positioning and heightens brand awareness.

View a condensed transcript of that presentation.