It’s the same challenging story: State and local health and human services (HHS) are under constant pressure to cut costs, become more efficient and improve outcomes for those they serve. But Medicaid and other HHS organizations also have a history of using complex, monolithic systems that take a long time to build and are difficult and costly to maintain.
How can states break the mold and become more nimble and effective?
Cloud technology has often been the answer, providing scalability, availability and processing power that would be difficult to replicate in-house. And in recent years, cloud services for HHS have evolved even more to include human expertise and industry-specific best practices. (Download our recent white paper to learn more.)
Business process-as-a-service (BPaaS) goes beyond the basic functionality and typical benefits of the cloud platform. It includes built-in analytics and business process automation, providing a complete turnkey solution tailored to HHS needs driving both efficiency and active accessibility of information to better serve a state’s customers.
Here are some of the ways HHS organizations can truly transform by taking cloud capabilities to the next level through BPaaS.
- Improve outcomes. This should be the ultimate driving force behind any HHS agency’s actions. And it’s one BPaaS can help with. How important is technology to outcomes? Optum research shows that insufficient data management leads to providers missing 39% to 62% of patients with chronic diseases.1
This may create missed opportunities for coordinated and preventive care. BPaaS helps break down data silos. When different departments share the same data, they can provide better service based on a fuller picture. And that can lead to better outcomes.
- Provide better user experiences. Think about it: Almost everyone today lives in a “there’s an app for that” world. They expect seamless, personalized service and mobile-first functionality. Technology should be a pathway, not a barrier, to obtaining services. BPaaS enables the user-centric experiences people expect, with online portals, mobile apps and other technologies that are part of daily life.
- Make employees’ jobs easier. Customers aren’t the only ones with expectations about technology. Your staff wants the same efficiency and convenience on the job. Manual processes or redundant tasks can cause frustration, taking time and mental energy away from more important activities. BPaaS can automate processes, simplify workflows and help staff provide better service. A vendor with deep expertise in HHS will have built-in best practices that could increase both efficiency and satisfaction among service providers, case managers and other employees.
- Get back to what you do best. Your agency is ultimately about facilitating services for citizens, not simply providing tech services for their own sake. Cloud-based solutions allow HHS organizations to move away from managing nuts-and-bolts technology components so you can focus on your core expertise. BPaaS can also help you manage change, reduce the burden on developers, and modernize more quickly and effectively.
- Make the most of your budget. State and local governments expect to spend a total of $28 billion on HHS-related IT in 2019.2 As you decide where to invest funding, you need to consider solutions that maximize the value of every dollar. BPaaS lets you deploy only the processes you need, which could potentially save millions of dollars.
- Modernize at your own pace. Unlike the costly all-or-nothing approach of ripping out and replacing an entire legacy system — where requirements will change in the time it takes to actually implement a traditional new system. BPaaS breaks processes into smaller chunks of HHS functionality. This modular approach allows agencies to implement new capabilities that can still interact with legacy systems. BPaaS modules can include:
- Integrated eligibility services
- Analytics and data warehousing
- Medicaid business operations and health care services
- Improve security and privacy. HHS agencies have a vast amount of health records, financial information and other sensitive data. It’s often stored in siloed legacy systems that make it more difficult to manage and protect. As data breaches and cyberattacks increase in number and impact, organizations are under intense pressure to protect data and systems, comply with a range of regulations, and maintain the public’s trust.
Data in the cloud is often more secure than in on-premises data centers. And the ability of BPaaS to break down silos of information also improves data security, confidentiality and compliance.
BPaaS solutions represent the next evolution of cloud-based services with good reason. By improving client outcomes and making experiences better for citizens and employees alike, BPaaS can truly transform HHS organizations.
How much (if any) of your organization’s technology is in the cloud? Which of the above benefits would have the most dramatic impact on your outcomes? Let me know in the comments.
About the author
Andrew G. Cone
Sr. Vice President, State Government Solutions
Andrew Cone leads solution and business development and strategy for Optum State Government. His experience spans the health spectrum, including commercial, government (Medicare and Medicaid), payer, provider and pharmacy benefit services. A graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, his 30 + year career includes business and software development, service delivery, and consumer engagement.