Shoring up elective surgeries
Predictive analytics can also be extremely valuable in helping healthcare organizations wind through the backlog of so-called “elective” surgeries. Prior to the latest COVID-19 surge it was estimated that it might take more than a year to work through the surgeries delayed by the pandemic. Given the current situation, that timeframe may be pushed out further.
Regardless of when they restart, analytics can help health plans and providers work together to determine which surgeries should be prioritized based on the long-term impact they will have on chronic conditions such as lower-back or knee pain. They can also help providers in dire need of revenue (which is nearly all these days) determine the financial impact of prioritizing some elective surgeries over others.
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While health needs should always take priority, the ability to generate revenue quickly could help providers serve their populations more effectively in the long term by keeping the lights on.
Once health plans and providers understand needs and priorities, they can begin moving forward with their action plans, such as investing in more formal, HIPAA-compliant telehealth and remote patient monitoring technologies, deploying strategies to address SDOH barriers, increasing the number of care managers, purchasing supplies, and recalling or redeploying staff to prepare for the influx of patients.
Additionally, they should update analytics and dashboards to measure the effectiveness of each initiative to ensure it is achieving the expected ROI. This information can then be used to make the appropriate adjustments, after which they should rinse and repeat.
Build back stronger
While the immediate aftermath in New Orleans was difficult, an intelligent approach to rebuilding has safeguarded it against future category-5 hurricanes.
The same can be true for healthcare. By taking advantage of advanced analytics, health plans and providers can control the flood of patients with chronic conditions returning for care while setting themselves up for greater success in the years ahead.
About the author: Qijuan (Emily) Li leads EXL Health’s Analytics Center of Excellence (ACOE) to create analytical solutions and deliverables for Data & Analytics, Clinical Services, Pharmacy Services, and Payment Services. She specializes in applications of predictive models and behavioral economics to improve prevention and treatment programs for chronic diseases and oversees both the clinical informatics and analytics functions.
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