Technology adoption has always been at the forefront across industry verticals in the last 20 years. Following the new regulations that are now sweeping through the Healthcare industry in the United States, we will see a further increase in the adoption of technology in the Healthcare industry.
The passing of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will provide further impetus in the Healthcare IT space.
The HITECH act encourages further adoption of technology on the clinical front through incentives to improve quality of care and information exchange.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provides an opportunity for all those uninsured in the US to go into Health Insurance Exchanges and purchase insurance as per their budget and requirements. More citizens will get covered by insurance through expansion of existing government programs.
Another aspect of the Act is the stringent directive on controlling the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR), which essentially splits costs between medical services and administrative costs. The payers would now be mandated to maintain an MLR of 85% for large insurers and 80% for smaller players.
Some of the other implications include mandatory cover for certain preventive services, primary care and emergency services; ban on life time limits and restrictions on annual limits.
Information Technology would play an even more important role going forward in the Healthcare Industry.
In the Healthcare Providers' landscape, quality, analytics and reporting solutions would be the transformational lever required for use of certified healthcare IT solutions to achieve meaningful use as mandated for compliance and incentives.
One of the key areas where Information Technology would play a major transformational role in the Healthcare Payer Industry is Sales & Marketing, where a guided sales strategy delivers superior and targeted online experience. Payers would achieve this through customer centricity initiatives focusing on customer retention and cross selling.
There is a very serious recognition that the overall industry will have to bend the cost curve in the context of these Healthcare Reforms. IT will have an important role to play and all the stakeholders in the Healthcare industry will have to focus on specific strategies applicable to them.