Findings from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2015 US Hospital and Health System Analytics Survey
As health systems continue to face shrinking margins, tightening budgets, and evolving payment models, analytics are being touted as the missing key to unlock new sources of value.
Talk of analytics and “big data” is everywhere in the health care industry these days. Many stakeholders agree that analytics provide insights that can enable organizations to improve quality and reduce costs, a combination that is essential to implementing effective value-based care programs. As health systems continue to face shrinking margins, tightening budgets, and evolving payment models, analytics are being touted as the missing key to unlock new sources of value.
But, do adoption and investment match the hype? Results from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2015 US Hospital and Health System Analytics Survey indicate mixed results. The survey shows that health system spending on analytics aligns with reported success in analytics and respondents agree that analytics investment is essential for value-based care. However, many organizations still lack a clear strategy, an effective data governance model, and effective budgeting models.
Health systems analytics adoption and investment is projected to grow, though perhaps not as dramatically or rapidly as some in the industry predict. Only five organizations reported that they expect their analytics spending to grow significantly in the next three years.
Also, respondents at several organizations indicated they lack clarity on their current analytics spending, so it is difficult to determine their future spending. Explanations for this pattern may lie in challenges such as culture, operating models, and fragmented oversight. More than half of the respondents mentioned these factors as top barriers for analytics adoption. Other exacerbating factors may include lack of access to funding; numerous vendor product offerings, which may be confusing; and inconsistent industry definitions of analytics.
As the shift from fee-for-service payment models to value-based care continues including Medicare’s plans for increased value-based payments by 2018 organizations will need to blend financial, operational, clinical, and other data to achieve their goals of improving quality, providing access, controlling cost, and managing provider networks.
A fragmented analytics strategy will not support effective integration of such data. While some leading organizations recognize the importance of committing to a coordinated business model and sufficient analytics investment, others are still figuring out their path.
Analytics is quickly becoming viewed as a competitive differentiator for value-based care and can add value to a variety of other organizational goals, including, consumer experience, growth initiatives, and cost reduction. Organizations with a centralized strategy and governance structure will likely be best positioned to move from the promise of analytics to superior performance.
The impetus for analytics
Health care analytics is growing in importance, fuelled by industry stakeholders’ thirst for information; the need to manage large, diverse data sets; increased competition; growing regulatory complexity; and innovation ranging from medicine to value-based care to population health management.
It is understandable that many look at health care analytics as “the next big thing” health systems are undergoing a major transformation in how they are paid and how they are expected to deliver care, and analytics can assist with the transition.
Also, as more data becomes available from sources like electronic health records, claims, medical devices, and patients, analytics can help detect hidden patterns in information, delivering actionable insights, and enabling self-learning systems to sense, predict, infer, and conceive alternatives that might not otherwise be obvious.In the future, such insights are likely to play a major role in helping health systems improve costs and quality, identify at-risk populations, connect with consumers, and better understand performance.
Analysts’ estimates vary, but widely publicized numbers for today’s global health care analytics market range between $4 billion and $5 billion, with the US accounting for about half.
1 At a projected eight-to-eleven percent annual growth rate through 2020, analysts expect analytics to be one of the highest areas of spending growth for US health systems. 2 Venture funding for health care analytics reached $393 million in 2014, the biggest of all digital health funding categories. 3 But do health systems’ investments in analytics match analysts’ expectations? Based upon survey responses, investment are getting there but not as soon as anticipated.