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Healthcare Executives Forecast Significant Savings from Use of Predictive Analytics

June 8, 2017
by Heather Landi
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More than half of health payer and healthcare provider executives believe that predictive analytics will save their organizations 15 percent or more of their total budget over the next five years, according to survey findings from the Society of Actuaries.

The Society of Actuaries analysis, summed in a report titled “2017 Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Trend Forecast,” reflects a survey of 223 health payer and provider executives to reveal insights about future predictive analytics trends in the healthcare industry.

The survey findings indicate that predictive analytics use is widespread within the healthcare industry, with 88 percent of respondents across payers and providers indicating they are part of an organization that is either currently using predictive analytics, or plans to begin using it in the next five years.

More payers (63 percent) than providers (47 percent) currently use predictive analytics, but more providers (89 percent) than payers (87 percent) plan to begin using predictive analytics within five years, the survey found.

What’s more, 93 percent of all healthcare executives say that predictive analytics is important to the future of their business.

And, of those organizations currently using predictive analytics, more than half of healthcare executives at those organizations (57 percent) expect to save 15 percent or more of their total budget – with 26 percent forecasting saving 25 percent or more – over the next five years by using predictive analytics processes.

However, despite the financial benefits from predictive analytics, 16 percent of healthcare executives still indicate a lack of budget is the biggest challenge to implementation within their organization. The healthcare executives who participated in the survey also identified a number of other challenges to implementing predictive analytics—regulatory issues (13 percent); incomplete data (12 percent); lack of skilled employees (11 percent); lack of sufficient technology (10 percent); too much data (9 percent); patient matching (8 percent) and lack of confidence in its accuracy (7 percent). Five percent of survey respondents identified lack of executive support as an obstacle.

The survey report also looks at what outcome payers and providers find the most valuable to predict using predictive analytics. Patient satisfaction is the most valuable outcome for providers, while cost was selected most among payers.

The three greatest expectations for the future of predictive analytics are refining data collection methods to increase security (20 percent), investment in people with the necessary expertise (18 percent) and data visualization), the survey findings revealed.

“This data underscores the value executives place on predictive analytics across both payer and provider organizations. As value-based care gains prominence, smart organizations are leveraging predictive analytics to forecast health and clinical outcomes to help achieve the Triple Aim,” Ian Duncan, fellow of the Society of Actuaries, said in a statement.

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