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Executives are accelerating digital and payment transformation, increasing focus on consumer-centric and value-based care, and boosting healthcare IT investments as a reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new study from Change Healthcare and the HealthCare Executive Group

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Most healthcare leaders are rethinking critical issues and reordering eight of their top ten priorities in the process—including changing their #1 priority—as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research conducted by InsightDynamo and commissioned by Change Healthcare (Nasdaq: CHNG) and the HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG).

The Industry Pulse COVID-19 Flash Report, published today, reveals how healthcare leaders are accelerating digital and payment transformation, with an emphasis on the consumer experience, telehealth, and interoperability. As a result, stakeholders are increasing investment in healthcare IT and fast-tracking initiatives to help prepare for the pandemic’s aftermath and future pandemics. One priority which did not change: privacy/security, which remains front and center for C-suite survey respondents, especially as the industry migrates towards a digital future.

Researchers presented 288 healthcare leaders with the 2020 HCEG Top Ten, a list of priorities compiled by the HealthCare Executive Group annually for the past decade. InsightDynamo then asked respondents if the 2020 HCEG Top Ten still reflected their priorities in the wake of COVID-19. The majority of respondents (66%) indicated they would re-order, add to, or delete certain priorities.

“Healthcare executives are re-thinking everything––from how and where care is being delivered to how it is being reimbursed,” said David Gallegos, senior vice president of Consulting Services, at Change Healthcare. “There’s long been a recognition and desire to advance healthcare’s digital transformation, but the pandemic has brought the industry to a tipping point. Looking back at what the Industry Pulse research revealed just eight months ago, and comparing that to this new study, we can see how far and how fast the industry has moved in just a few months. The impact could be a real game-changer for payers, providers, and consumers.”

Among the key findings from the Industry Pulse COVID-19 Flash Report are:

  • Consumer-centricity is now front and center. Consumer Experience is now the #1 priority, with Accessible Points of Care (telehealth, mHealth, wearables, retail clinics, etc.), Healthcare Policy, and Social Determinants of Health all moving up the list. Both payer (64%) and provider (53%) majorities indicate a stronger interest in and accelerated adoption of consumer-centric healthcare.
  • COVID-19 is driving increased interest in payment transformation. Nearly half of respondents (49%) said the pandemic has increased interest in adopting value-based care. While payers show slightly more interest (52%) than providers (47%), they are very closely aligned overall. This is amplified in the C-suite with 47% of payer and a striking 67% of provider C-suite executives indicating COVID-19 has increased their interest in value-based models.
  • Respondents are bullish on increasing IT budgets to support re-prioritization. The majority of payers (67%), providers (57%), and consultants/vendors (78%) said the pandemic has caused them to increase their outlook for investment in healthcare IT. Only 6% of payers, 14% of providers, and 14% of consultants/vendors reported likely IT budget reductions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Comparing the Industry Pulse COVID-19 Flash Report’s results to the 2020 HCEG Top Ten list, one item of concern stands out: Privacy/Security remained unchanged in its ranking, holding its lower Top 10 position in both the original 2020 HCEG Top Ten and the new Flash report.

“We have seen more change in 10 weeks than we have in the last 10 years, but privacy and security didn’t budge on the list, which indicates it is still not being taken as seriously as it should be,” said Ferris Taylor, executive director of the HealthCare Executive Group, a non-profit association of healthcare leaders. “Privacy and security should be top-of-mind when you consider a main take-away from the Flash Report is the acceleration of digital transformation. Given the rise of cyberattacks since the pandemic began, privacy and security should be of paramount importance.”

To compile the report, InsightDynamo researchers surveyed 288 stakeholders from healthcare providers, health plans, technology vendors, consultants, and other organizations between June and July 2020. More than half of respondents came from provider or payer organizations, with 17% from technology providers or vendors; 14% from healthcare consultancies; and the remainder from academia, labs, or government. Nearly 40% were within the C-suite and 25% in manager, director, or consultant roles.

The full Change Healthcare-HCEG Industry Pulse COVID-19 Flash Report can be accessed at https://inspire.changehealthcare.com/Industry-Pulse-Results-2020.

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About InsightDynamo

Acting as an extension of the companies it services, InsightDynamo delivers insight-powered intelligence to drive innovation. Founded in 2014, InsightDynamo provides market research and analysis expertise to companies building new products, developing new markets, or refining their current product and service offerings. Learn more at https://www.insightdynamo.com.

About the HealthCare Executive Group

The HealthCare Executive Group is a national network of executives who help navigate the strategic and tactical issues facing their organizations. HCEG provides a forum where the open exchange of ideas, opportunities for action, collaboration and transformational dialogue can freely ensue and supports a platform for its members and partners to promote healthcare innovation, technology, and the development of lifelong professional relationships. For more information on the HCEG, please visit www.hceg.org. Read our blog at hceg.org/blog, follow us on Twitter at @HCExecGroup, connect with us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our newsletter at hceg.org/newsletter-signup.

About Change Healthcare

Change Healthcare (Nasdaq: CHNG) is a leading independent healthcare technology company, focused on insights, innovation, and accelerating the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system through the power of the Change Healthcare Platform. We provide data and analytics-driven solutions to improve clinical, financial, administrative, and patient engagement outcomes in the U.S. healthcare system. Learn more at changehealthcare.com.

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