This article discusses how cloud communications systems help health payers drive greater value in the following ways:
- Improved budget and cost controls due to reduced upfront investment and more scalable costs based on need at any given time
- Better analytics insights for improved personalization, targeting, and decision-making
- Optimized security and privacy to safeguard against stolen data and ransom payouts
- Cross-platform stakeholder engagement to sustain relationships and drive long-term revenue
- Integration of communications platforms with other technology used in long-term operations
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Cloud-based communications systems have transformed public and private sector industries, with healthcare among them. Payers are among the key industry participants that achieve significant value benefits from embracing cloud systems. Improved value comes from both cost control measures and revenue optimization.
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The following is a look at several key ways cloud communications systems equip health payers with tools to enhance value.
Cloud-based technology affords you much greater budget and cost control than on-premises solutions. Whereas on-premises solutions require significant upfront and ongoing investment in hardware, administration, and maintenance, cloud solutions do not. It is the solution provider that bears the investment in hardware infrastructure.
Cloud solutions are also much more scalable than their on-premises counterparts. You only have to invest to match your needs. Thus, during periods of high demand, you pay more. However, when demand wanes or is lower, you can scale back your investment and save on unnecessary expenses.
The importance of analytics has never been higher for health payers. Analytics offers you keen insight into data patterns and trends. For payers, this might include visibility into the providers, subscribers, and policies that offer you the highest return on investment. You can use this insight to identify the most opportune provider partners to approach for network participation.
Additional uses of analytics and data insights derived from cloud systems include:
- More personalized communication with members: Share targeted messaging to alert members to screenings and other key preventative and treatment services based on their circumstances. Customize communication to match the preferences and needs of individual members.
- Heightened cost awareness: Gain greater insight into the policies and relationships contributing to the highest costs.
- Payout timelines: Figure out what factors lead to longer versus shorter payout timelines so you can find ways to optimize efficiency.
With cloud-based communications solutions, you have a greater ability to capture behavioral and researched data on provider and member experiences. With artificial intelligence baked into your solution, you can more easily mine qualitative data to compile insights on user experiences. These insights help you to develop a better system for your provider network and members, which allows for better long-term relationships.
Health data is attractive to hackers because of its value on the dark web, which is often much more than the value of stolen credit data. Ransomware is another way that hackers make money, and this is often very expensive for the healthcare industry. Depending on the scope and types of data stolen, health payers may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to re-acquire the stolen data. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, ransomware attacks cost the healthcare industry $21 billion in 2020. In 2021, the average ransomware payment for the sector was $131,000, and the average bill for rectifying a ransomware attack—considering downtime, people time, device cost, network cost, lost opportunity, ransom paid, etc.—was $1.27 million.
Unfortunately, some health payers still cling to the misperception that on-premises technology is more secure than cloud-based solutions. This is typically not the case. Companies that maintain on-premises systems usually do not have the resources to dedicate to comprehensive data security. Cloud-based providers specialize in the storage, accessibility, safety, and security of data they host on behalf of clients. They have dedicated teams tasked with protecting the integrity of their systems. They also incorporate advanced security protocols like multi-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption.
From a cost-based perspective, few things bring greater value to health payers than protecting their data from risk.
A cross-channel, cloud-based communications system enables more comprehensive communication with providers and members. Your agents can seamlessly deliver outbound messages and receive inbound interactions across popular channels.
Cross-channel coverage is a much more efficient structure for support because it allows each representative to use each communication channel. This setup is in stark contrast to a more segregated approach where you have different teams dedicated to managing conversations on a single channel.
There is more flexibility with cross-channel solutions as well. They provide your team members and external stakeholders with the ability to communicate from various locations. This flexibility is increasingly important as the health sector has become more digitized, and interactions between channel participants and members are often virtual.
Cloud-based solutions are more agile and adaptable to other systems. Therefore, they are easier to integrate with your other existing and planned software.
Integration capabilities are important as you look to build a more holistic tech and data structure. Doing so leads to cost efficiencies. It also allows you to tie communication in with other tools used to manage long-term relationships.
The advantages of cloud-based communications are clear. That is why companies of all types across many public and private industries have embraced them. The health system is overwhelmed by a massive cost structure. Thus, any steps payers can take to minimize costs and optimize revenue improves the likelihood of sustained profitability.
RingCentral is a leader in unified communications systems designed to serve the needs of healthcare payers. RingCentral for Healthcare includes all the best-in-class advantages, including advanced security features so you can achieve the value-based benefits described.
Originally published Jun 15, 2022