In the United States, healthcare is one of the top expenses for American families. In 2020, Americans spent $4.1 trillion on healthcare (yes, trillion). That means on average, each person in the U.S. spent roughly $12,500. Many physicians are concerned that high healthcare costs are placing a burden on their patients. 

However, to reduce the healthcare cost burden on patients, we need to first cut expenses for healthcare providers. Unfortunately, bad debt caused by uncompensated care continues to increase at health centers across the country. In 2020, 47% of hospitals experienced increased debt due to uncompensated care. 21% of hospitals owe at least $10 million in debt. 

Technology improves efficiency, reducing costs  

Although $1.7 trillion is invested annually in healthcare, the industry is inefficient and burdened with costs. However, technology can help both patients and providers in reducing costs. For example, the right technology allows doctors to detect, treat, and prevent diseases, which reduces the long-term cost of healthcare. 

With rising labor costs, it’s the perfect time for the healthcare sector to embrace using technology to cut healthcare costs – while maintaining a high quality of care. If most providers adopted health technology, the efficiency savings could average over $77 billion per year. 

Don’t be afraid of technology and automation

You might be skeptical of automating tasks, thinking it’ll reduce jobs and staffing. Your administrative staff will still have to manage these technical solutions and address other tasks, but they’ll be much more efficient and productive. Automation and technology are not replacements for staff, but rather, an empowerment tool. 

New health technology helps reduce costs, offers a better patient experience, and encourages innovation.  

How technology reduces the cost of healthcare

1. Lower staffing costs

Labor is one of the biggest operating expenses. Plus, overworking the same employees with tasks that could be automated can lead to medical staff burnout. This reduces the effectiveness of your employees.  

By using technology, hospitals effectively manage their staffing schedules, while decreasing healthcare expenses. Data helps hospitals understand their staffing needs to avoid overworking and over scheduling employees. This can be done by looking at past shifts, plus examining the current patient needs. These apps can carry out real-time labor analysis to predict demands based on:  

  • The number of incoming patients 
  • The number of open beds 
  • Capacity 
  • Equipment status 

This innovative labor technology can help hospitals avoid resorting to expensive alternatives, such as temporary hires or paying staff overtime.  

2. Automate administrative tasks

Another key to lowering staffing costs is automating administrative tasks. The healthcare industry spends $2.1 billion on manual tasks for provider data management. These are poorly performed and error-prone. The entire industry could save 33%, or $13.3 billion a year if administrative tasks were automated. 

Administrative tasks waste a lot of time. Doctors end up wasting their time on entering patient notes, rather than actually treating the patients. But why let doctors waste their time, when there is technology available that lets doctors automate these administrative tasks? For example, instead of manually entering test results, there are apps for you to scan the test results and import them automatically.   

Mobile apps can help hospitals and practices save a lot of time. For example, apps can handle prescriptions, testing, appointment setting, answering patient questions, sending medication or appointment reminders, and insurance processes. Plus, technology can provide analytics that lead to better patient care.  

3. Streamline marketing efforts

Another way to reduce staffing costs, while also increasing revenue, is to automate marketing efforts. Hospitals need to invest time and marketing into their business, and automation is the best solution. It helps you:  

  • Expand your reach and impressions 
  • Gain and nurture leads 
  • Acquire more patients 
  • Grow faster 

Technology can give you data so you can take advantage of segmented marketing. For example, you can market your diabetes care specifically for diabetic or prediabetic patients. Segmented marketing helps you reach the patients who need your care. 

Plus, technology allows you to automate email campaigns, social media posts, patient referrals, text messages, review generation, and more.  

Marketing technology also provides analytics. These ensure your marketing team knows what’s effective, and what isn’t. When they know what types of content are resonating with your audience, they can keep driving engagement.  

There’s always more to be done for marketing teams. Streamlining marketing efforts helps you generate more revenue while avoiding overworking employees.  

4. Reduce the need for specialists

The overuse of specialists can make care very expensive. However, remote patient monitoring (RPM) tools can reduce costs by eliminating travel costs, hospital room expenses, and specialty fees. It also ensures that specialists are spending their time wisely. 

Using RPM technology, providers can remotely monitor patients in real-time. The system can analyze their healthcare data, and alert doctors in real-time if a patient’s condition grows worrisome. Then, the provider can adjust the patient’s treatment plans.  

When specialists are needed, technology makes it possible for them to utilize virtual appointments.  

5. Offer telehealth

Remote care saves an average of $19-$121 per patient compared to traditional, in-person doctor visits. Plus, throughout the 2020 pandemic, telemedicine was the key advancement that helped doctors stay in touch with patients. Even after the pandemic, 43% of Americans want to continue opting for telehealth. 

Remote care also helps providers save financially. They can offer primary care remotely, reducing unnecessary and expensive emergency room visits. It also saves time for providers. Physicians who use telemedicine reduce visit times by about 20% 

Telemedicine is proving to be one of the most important healthcare technologies moving forward. It improves healthcare, and lowers the cost for everyone. It’s affordable, and it saves everyone time. 

Embrace technological advances  

In healthcare, the trends are moving us to a place where artificial intelligence will be used more and more to speed up treatment and reduce costs. With an eye for innovation, new ways of delivering care are made possible, which improves the effectiveness of treatments. Durable, user friendly, and cost-effective systems give us another avenue to improve healthcare. The future of this industry is bright. 

Looking for a technological solution to decrease costs? Ōmcare Home Health Hub® is a video-based, remote solution that ​allows patients to get their medicine and speak with their providers, pharmacist, or caregivers in real-time. ​​Reach out to Ōmcare to learn more!