Stop Spinning Your Wheels

Jul 17, 2018

How to get your health plan out of a rut and break down big data silos.

Health plans are tasked with deriving ever-more savings from their claims overpayment initiatives. But with limited people, strategy, technology or processes to accomplish their goals, are they getting any tangible returns for their efforts? Without access to the full story to accurately gauge their success, health plans may be over-relying on third-party services vendors. Even with the vendors’ limitations, currently, they’re accomplishing cost containment goals more effectively than a health plan can.

We’ve written a bit before about the negative consequences of siloed information and the benefits of a comprehensive solution. In today’s article, we want to get into the specifics on breaking down big data silos.

Big Data Silos Occur Naturally

Big data, or knowledge, silos aren’t evidence of a poorly functioning organization, writes Withum. “Knowledge silos tend to grow organically as a byproduct of the way people work in organizations. But now, these silos are generally recognized as detrimental to knowledge sharing, efficiency and innovation.” Whereas data silos were once encouraged, modern business practices promote transparency and free-sharing of information, both of which are inhibited when information is contained in departments.

As healthcare organizations address breaking down big data silos, they should also look at the negative effects that information overload has on staff. “Organizational use of information and communications technology (ICT) is increasingly resulting in negative cognitions” like information overload and interruptions (termed technostress), according to this study. Technostress and naturally occurring data silos are two major problems that prevent health plans from “moving the needle” quickly or adeptly.

How to Break Down Big Data Silos

As projected 7 years ago, today breaking down big data silos is seen as a competitive advantage for healthcare organizations. Without knowledge of a broader solution, we frequently see organizations address data silos through third-party services vendors. These vendors don’t have access to the entire picture, but they allow organizations to integrate technology at rapid rates.

However, to truly break down big data silos, an organization must unify all information across their entire company (including the activities of third-party vendors). Here are the areas a health plan needs to address in order to break down big data silos:

Integrate with the help of technology.

An integrative audit and recovery solution offers health plans a payment integrity program that gives a system-wide view into big data. It has been estimated that enterprise companies adopt, on average, around 1,200 apps across various teams. Pareo is an example of a comprehensive technology that can “plug in” to these apps and utilize AI technology to distill actionable information, a process one of our clients says results in a “single source of truth.” AI technology replaces manual hunt-and-peck style behavior, instead automating the process of looking for or requesting information.

Reduce inefficiencies.

If big data silos are not frequently addressed and prevented, efficiency levels are greatly reduced. Distill analytics from your data that show inefficient workflows within your company. With Pareo®, a health plan can also deploy predictive analytics based on past performance that support informed decision making. Inefficiency is best addressed through organizational transparency.

Address the "silo effect" in your organization.

Siloing data turns into a mentality, a bad habit that companies will have to break themselves of. Organizations can mitigate siloed workflows by informing employees of the big picture. Technology like Pareo is designed to do just that for health plans. It creates a single source of truth in an organization, and it turns out, this information stream is a powerful mitigator of information siloing habits.

“Innovation, collaboration, and agility cannot thrive in a siloed work environment,” writes Inc. Break down office politics, consider a physical workspace that enhances collaboration, and do more that addresses the silo effect at your organization.

Now’s the time for total payment integrity

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