Emdeon Asks the $30 Billion Question

The $30Billion Question
Introducing the U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index
“What would you do with $30 billion?” This question sparked a groundswell of intrigue at the recent Healthcare 2.0 conference in San Diego. Purveyed on buttons and business cards at the event, this hypothetical inquiry alludes to the dollar value assigned to the cost of the healthcare industry’s voluminous inefficiencies as it lumbers toward becoming electronically-based. A guerrilla website—www.save30billion.com—supplemented the messaging, concurrently touting the $30 billion question to curious participants and putting a spotlight on a must-address issue for the industry.

For those of us who’ve worked in healthcare any length of time, it may be hard to fathom there’s $30 billion (with a “b”!) of business inefficiencies in our industry. Of course, we know the transition is far from complete, and there’s always room for improvement...but $30 billion worth? Aren’t we ceaselessly implementing technology or upgrading systems to accommodate a new mandate, fulfill a market demand or streamline revenue cycles?

And if there’s still a $30 billion chasm—even after all the electronic evolutions, solutions and changes, how can we ever be sure we’re making real progress?

Enter the U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index™.

The U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index is “an industry forum for monitoring the business efficiency in healthcare.” The Index, already online at www.ushealthcareindex.com, is poised to be the singular source for tracking the transition of our system from paper to electronic transactions.

This innovative forum—and the intriguing $30 billion question that was its precursor—are the brainchildren of Emdeon’s leadership team. Though the Index was born of Emdeon’s unwavering commitment to electronic efficiency, it is established, guided and advised by some of the nation’s most respected, authoritative experts from the healthcare industry and beyond. The charter advisory council includes the likes of Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center for Health Transformation. Renowned statisticians Dr. Fritz Scheuren and Dr. Patrick Baier are creating processes for data gathering, analysis and reporting for the Index.

Emdeon’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy Miriam Paramore serves on the Index’s advisory council and is a passionate advocate of the need for awareness and action.

“So many business leaders and policy makers assume that billing and payment related transactions have been ‘fixed’ and are fully automated, but that’s not so.” Paramore explains. “For example, when we tell people that medical payment transactions alone could create $11 billion in annual savings through direct deposit, they’re blown away. They had no idea there was such need for improvement.”

The Index is launching in phases to accommodate increased specificity over time. Phase 1 is focused on the potential savings for medical claims-related transactions. Future phases will address pharmacy, dental, vision and Worker’s Compensation. In addition to the tracking of financial data, the Index also follows environmental impact as the industry moves away from paper usage to electronic transactions. Information will be updated quarterly.

Log on and sign up. Visit the "Get Involved" page of the website to sign up for regular updates and opportunities to participate.

Advisory Council Roster (to date)
Fritz Scheuren, Ph.D.

Patrick Baier, D.Phil.
Milliman, Inc.

John L. Phelan, Ph.D.
Milliman, Inc.

Andrew Naugle, MBA
Milliman, Inc.

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, MA, MHSA
Health Economist and Author

Newt Gingrich
Center for Health Transformation

Miriam Paramore


No comments: