Healthcare industry could save $16.3B by automating key administrative tasks

The healthcare industry could save $16.3 billion more by automating nine common administrative transactions, according to a new report from the nonprofit Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare.  

For its report, the council reviewed automation, spending and savings opportunities among transactions related to verifying patient insurance and cost-sharing, preauthorization, claim submissions and payment processes. The report collected data from health plans and providers through the 2019 calendar year.

Of the 16.3 billion in savings automation could bring, $13.3 billion in savings could come from medical plans and providers, while $3 billion could be realized in the dental industry.

The report found that eligibility and benefit verification automation remains the top savings opportunity for the healthcare industry at $6.7 billion. This is followed by establishing electronic claim remittance advice, which has the potential to save $3.2 billion. 

Overall, the council found that the healthcare industry saved $122 billion annually by automating or partially automating these transactions in the last year. This is a savings increase of 19 percent from the previous year. 

"This year's report found that adoption of electronic processes generally increased across the medical and dental industries," said Kristine Burnaska, director of research and measurement at the council. "The data also indicates that future efforts to automate could yield even greater returns."

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