- Change Healthcare announced Tuesday it will partner with Adobe and Microsoft to build a tool to help providers understand their patients' engagement habits.
- Change Healthcare is hoping the tool will be used as part of providers' revenue cycle and patient relationship management efforts to assist engagement campaigns, content strategies and analysis of results.
- “The ability [for providers] to grow through consolidation is really starting to plateau,” Change Healthcare CEO Neil de Crescenzo told the audience Tuesday at HLTH 2018, adding that companies are now thinking about how to attract and retain patients.
As 2018 has shown, every company is a healthcare company. Heavy hitters like Apple and Amazon, which largely focus on developing consumer products, have recently announced new products or the formation of companies to more directly interact with the healthcare business. Adobe, which develops the photo-editing software Photoshop and PDF-editing software Adobe Acrobat, is the latest company to enter the healthcare field.
Details of what the tool will look like were scarce, but it is expected to aggregate consumer data from many healthcare IT sources, including EHRs, registration, scheduling and billing applications.
De Crescenzo talked about the driving force behind its development at HLTH: Hospitals can't consolidate themselves into profitability anymore. "Provider consolidation is slowing," he said. About 90% of all metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. had "highly concentrated" hospital markets in 2016, he said. While provider consolidation is still occurring, its rate of growth has slowed down in recent years.
De Crescenzo said there has been a steady shift of patients moving from inpatient to outpatient settings. Change Healthcare data shows about $200 billion of healthcare interactions come from the "new front door" of healthcare via retail settings, urgent care clinics and telemedicine.
Patients are now thinking about how they spend their healthcare dollars and therefore aren't presenting themselves to hospitals as much, he said. "[Integrated delivery networks] will have to attract and retain patients."
The three companies are hoping the tool will help providers gauge consumer engagement to drive business development strategies as well as attend to the needs of their patients. Microsoft and Adobe's consumer-facing tools may help add to the user interface in the yet-to-be-unveiled provider product.
Last month, health IT company Netsmart announced it would purchase Change Healthcare’s home care and hospice units. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, pending regulatory review.