We at Bowery Capital released the 2016 edition of Opportunities In Vertical Software in November, which laid out our point of view on ten specific verticals and the potential for various software solutions to dominate each of these ten verticals in the coming years. For ten weeks, we have released content focused around the impact of software on these ten industries. We have done several interviews in weeks prior covering the Drone, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Logistics, Education, Legal, Restaurant, Insurance, and Construction verticals. For the healthcare software vertical we conducted a healthcare software interview with Garry Choy. Garry Choy is the Chief Medical Officer at Q as well as a co-founder of CredSimple, aiming to bring efficiency to medical credentialing through a software platform that automates the currently labor-intensive manual processes of primary source verification and provider data management.
What are some of the most interesting developments in your industry over the last 10 years and how has software added value?
Over the last decade there has been widespread adoption of Electronic Medical Record Software (EMR) within the healthcare community. Less than 10 years ago, 90% of physicians were updating patient charts by hand and now almost 90% of physicians are using an electronic solution. A lot of the adoption can be credited to programs such as Meaningful Use, a CMS Medicare and Medicaid program that awards incentives for using certified electronic health records to improve patient care.
Digital billing solutions and administrative IT support software systems have allowed healthcare providers to increase the efficiency of their operation by managing all billing and claims related inquiries via a software provider which lessens the risk of error. Furthermore, processes such as credentialing have seen a great improvement in completion time due to the adoption of software solutions.
A major value that has been realized is the improvement in revenue cycle management (billing, collections) and a decrease in costs (paper processes, manual processes), which allows people to do higher order complex tasks, be more strategic and less tactical, and focus more on clinical care than administrative work.
What are some of the challenges / hurdles that still exist?
Although the proliferation of software has allowed for a lot of efficiency within the healthcare sector there are still pain points. The administrative burden and costs are still very high due to disjointed applications and use of several different systems. The use of several systems with limited or no integration also creates a redundancy in the overall processes that administrators take on. EHRs often require more documentation from physicians before, during and after a patient visit. This can tend to cause an increase in time and frustration. Also, like any other new technology, the learning curve can be steep and often requires significant time and capital investment to get a team running smoothly on the new process.
When looking to enable a process with software what are the most important points for a buyer to think through?
When a healthcare practice is looking to make a software purchase, they should prioritize the improvement of business operations. A system that will reduce redundancy and increase efficiency will lead to less business risk, reduced costs, as well as an improvement in employee satisfaction. Reducing the volume of menial tasks will shift their roles to higher value tasks that in turn have a positive ROI.
What is your vision for the industry in 5-10 years?
Technology and especially data driven platforms like ours at CredSimple will really make a dent on alleviating the administrative burden and improving how credentialing is done. We are focused on provider data management, but many companies are now building new technology platforms that will dramatically eliminate manual administrative tasks and allow a shift back to focusing on clinical work and quality delivery of healthcare.
Thank you for reading this Healthcare software interview with Garry Choy. Make sure to check out the 1st Healthcare Deep Dive post discussing the History & Market Dynamics of Healthcare technology as well as the 2016 edition of Opportunities In Vertical Software for the full report.