|Analytics helps hospitals avoid billing losses|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2012 07:00|
Hospital software systems can be very siloed. While various systems are are to some degree standards, they tend to be so only within specific medical specialties. Integrating systems between specialties gets tricky, making it tough to get a “360 degree” view of a hospital’s clinical environment.
And It’s not just that clinical systems have trouble talking to each other, but they also have trouble talking to administrative billing systems. Because of this, the hospital bills that go out to insurance companies and, on occasion, to individuals, can be missing important charges. Given how many hospitals run at or below break-even, these lost billings can sometimes make the difference between the hospital having operational viability and not.
What if technology could actually be used to fix these problems with…technology?
Fixing the problem
Rule-based systems don’t triage and they don’t prioritize, nor do they take into account contextual problems and circumstances. Rules-based systems don’t “learn,” but rather do as they’re told, sometimes rather blindly.
This is a job for machine learning
Opera’s technology understands the clinical context too, so it can avoid “false positives.” For example, the technology can filter out records that look generically wrong but in reality make sense, based on how doctors work and how insurance companies pay.
The product is already live in about 60 hospitals, providing a substantial knowledge base that allows Opera to improve the algorithms, and the algorithms to improve themselves. Such a learning, and self-improving solution works nicely and wards off rote application of rules-based bill auditing. Other industries have benefited from such solutions before, but in health care, I am told, this is relatively new.
Data should be smart, not just Big
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