Reducing health care expenses with data analysis

Data analytics has the potential to transform the landscape of health care from improving patient care to helping medical facilities save money, which will be a major boon as the population demographics change. By using big data to assist in patient care, from preventative action to assessing individual treatment, hospitals and medical practices will have the potential to improve their efficiency. In turn, this can help them reduce expenses and streamline their operations.

Patient population shifts will change health care industry
Big data will become even more useful as new patients gain coverage through the Affordable Care Act and the senior population grows. According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, the ACA will provide health care for about 30 million individuals. At the same time, the number of people over 65 will be growing exponentially. By 2030, those over 65 will make up 19 percent of the overall population, whereas this group accounted for only 12.9 percent in 2009, the Administration on Aging reported. These shifts will create a strain on health care providers, so finding ways to improve care will be key to reducing the number of people seeking treatment, and the solution for this problem may lie in data analytics.

Big data can help keep patients healthier
Many hospitals and practices have already implemented electronic health records, which will make it easier to compile information about patients. Analysis tools can extrapolate data that can be used to identify and prevent illness, Bloomberg Law pointed out. In turn, fewer people will need treatment for these ailments, which will reduce the amount of patients doctors need to treat, and fewer patients means less money for treatments.

Use data analysis to gain insight into financial information
Before hospitals can find ways to cut costs, they need to understand the big picture of their financial situation. Big data analytics allows them to examine the cost versus quality of certain treatments, which can be used to determine new strategies for delivering more inexpensive treatment without negatively impacting the quality of care, according to EHR Intelligence. EHRs focus solely on medical and personal information, so the source suggested using data analysis tools to examine the monetary aspects of running a medical facility.

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