Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Partnerships
A Strategic Driver for Health Plan Leaders
Balachandran AV, Vice President - Health Plans, CitiusTech
Shobhit Saran, Asst. Vice President - Health Plans, CitiusTech
Srinath Srinivasan, Healthcare consultant - CitiusTech
- Healthcare executives are becoming increasingly aware of the need for digital transformation and see cloud collaborations as a solution for challenges like maintaining legacy systems. With cloud-native development, containerization, and microservices, these collaborations enable future-ready digital transformation.
- Benefits of cloud-based digital transformation include cost, operational, and market advantages. Streamlining operations and switching from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model enables businesses to scale and adapt to market changes quickly.
- Payer cloud services account for 40% of the total addressable market, indicating a $10 billion opportunity for IT services supporting US health plans, as specified by Grand View Research.
- According to a recent survey, 81% of respondents increased their investment in data and analytics initiatives in response to the pandemic.
- System Integrators (SIs) are crucial for successful cloud partnerships, bridging healthcare plans and cloud service providers.
There is a pressing need for digitization among healthcare organizations. However, conventional systems and processes must entirely encapsulate the objective of offering more value to members and providers. The solution to their digital conundrums? Shift to considering cloud partnerships from the full value chain perspective.
The healthcare industry faces many difficulties. A few examples are the high cost of maintaining old systems, segregated data centers, and delayed market entry caused by restrictive software designs. Others include a slower compliance rate with changing regulatory requirements, uneven interoperability skills, and security flaws resulting from out-of-date data and development models. These difficulties highlight the demand for an ecosystem modernized and built on cloud technologies.
In this pursuit, health plan leaders see cloud partnerships as a key to unlocking more than just cost savings. These collaborations offer a robust pathway toward future-ready digital transformation. It is achieved by adopting cloud-native development, API-fication, containerization, and microservices, sustaining and propelling business growth.
DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHTS: PAYER EXECUTIVES EYEING CLOUD-BASED DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Recent surveys by leading organizations are revealing a trend. They signal that payer executives are increasingly fixated on cloud-based digital transformation. The transformative potential of cloud technology, with its market, operational, and cost benefits, is truly captivating.
The transformative potential of cloud technology lies in several areas:
- Market Benefits: By utilizing cloud technology, payers can rapidly scale and adapt to market changes. For instance, cloud computing can enable companies to launch new products or services quickly, react to fluctuations in demand, and enter new markets more easily.
- Operational Benefits: Cloud technology can streamline operations, improve efficiency, and increase agility. It allows payers to automate many manual processes, improve collaboration, and accelerate time-to-market. Also, it provides flexibility to work from anywhere, which has become particularly important in the post-pandemic world.
- Cost Benefits: Cloud-based solutions offer significant cost advantages over traditional IT infrastructure. Payers can shift from a capital expenditure model, where they need to invest heavily in hardware and in-house platform hosted solutions, to an operational expenditure model, where they pay for what they use. This can free up resources for investment in other areas of the business.
Given these benefits, it is unsurprising that payer executives are captivated by the potential of cloud-based digital transformation. This trend is anticipated to carry on as more businesses recognize the strategic value of cloud computing in the digital age.
FIVE KEY BENEFITS: THE PAYOFF OF CLOUD PARTNERSHIPS FOR HEALTH PLANS
Health plans are increasingly resorting to shared cloud solutions to fulfill the demands of the digital era in the constantly changing healthcare sector. The success of this transformation depends on five key outcomes: improved member satisfaction, an analytics- and ML-driven data platform, a core health platform that is future-proof, operational excellence, and ongoing solid security and compliance.
● Enhanced Member Delight
Healthcare payers increasingly emphasize omnichannel engagement strategies and personalized care experiences to enhance member satisfaction. According to a 2022 report1, a digitized omnichannel experience can increase member satisfaction. In addition, the same report highlighted that personalizing care can improve health outcomes and reduce costs by tailoring interventions and treatments to members' needs.
With the adoption of cloud solutions, health plans can streamline the delivery of personalized content, enhance member communication, and drive engagement on an unprecedented scale.
● Analytics and ML-driven Data Platform
Executives and their teams are seeking a shift towards more data-driven decision-making processes. In a recent poll, 81% of participants said they increased their investment in data and analytics initiatives in response to the pandemic, supply shocks, and labor shortages. Additionally, 58% of respondents upped their financial commitment to AI projects.
Health plans leverage cloud solutions to create a single source of validity that ensures data quality and consistency. Automated data platforms can improve member acquisition practices and enhance patient outcomes through informed reliable decision-making. In addition, ML and predictive analytics can provide actionable insights for medical management, leading to better patient outcomes.
● Future-proof Core Health Platform
The need for a flexible, adaptable, and swift core health platform is non-negotiable. As per a report, health plans invest in modular, workflow-driven, and highly configurable core functional blocks to future-proof operations. Cloud solutions provide the scalability and flexibility needed to adapt to the evolving healthcare landscape. They allow health plans to manage complex workflows and deliver services quickly and efficiently.
● Operational Excellence
The pursuit of operational excellence is a crucial driver for the adoption of cloud solutions. For example, when analyzing healthcare cloud transformation surveys and reports, it was discovered that, healthcare organizations implementing multi-cloud operating model see an upside of 50% productivity improvement and can help save up to 40% by migrating to cloud. Health plans seek real-time workflows, intelligent automation, and cost containment through their cloud platforms. The cloud's inherent scalability and flexibility can help organizations achieve these goals while providing long-term savings.
● Robust and Continuous Security and Compliance
Given the highly sensitive nature of healthcare data, robust and continuous security and compliance measures are paramount. Today's health plans require compliance mechanisms and security measures that can keep pace with contemporary, containerized, and API-reliant development models. Cloud solutions provide streamlined compliance protocols and advanced security measures to safeguard against data breaches and ensure regulatory compliance.
A SUCCESS STORY: THE SYNERGY BETWEEN PAYER AND HYPERSCALER PARTNERSHIPS
Several recent collaborations between payer companies and major cloud service providers showcase the immense value cloud services bring to healthcare. These include:
- Highmark Health and Google Cloud's partnership utilizing AI and analytics to deliver personalized member care experiences
- Cambia Health and AWS Cloud alliance that employs NLP and machine learning models for timely member insights.
Other examples encompass Blue Shield of California and Google Cloud's next-generation, real-time processing platform development and Elevance Health and Google Cloud's AI-driven synthetic data platform. In addition, Humana, Microsoft, CVS Aetna, and Microsoft Cloud also leverage the cloud with AI and FHIR technologies for predictive and intelligent automation solutions.
THE INTEGRAL ROLE OF SYSTEM INTEGRATORS IN PAYER-CLOUD PARTNERSHIPS
System integrators (SIs) are essential for developing fruitful cloud alliances. According to Precedence Research, the North American region will account for 50 percent of the development in the global healthcare cloud industry's total addressable market (TAM), which is expected to reach approximately $60 billion in 2023. They anticipate a three-year growth rate of 16%–18% and a CAGR of 15.5% between 2023 and 2030. According to Grand View Research, payer services comprise 40% of the TAM, representing a $10 billion market for IT services supporting US health plans.
UNLOCKING THE POWER OF CLOUD TRANSFORMATION: THE INDISPENSABLE ROLE OF SI PARTNERS IN PAYER-HYPERSCALER COLLABORATIONS
A successful cloud transformation must involve System Integrator (SI) partners in partnerships between healthcare payers and hyperscalers. In addition, health plans and cloud service providers can only fully realize the benefits of cloud-based transformation with IT service providers working in the healthcare industry, such as CitiusTech.
Hyperscalers have recognized the importance of in-house SI partner programs as a catalyst for change. As a result, digital solutions are quickly advanced through co-development and co-innovation, utilizing the distinctive strengths of SI partners.
Hyperscalers have aggressively accepted programs, such as Google Cloud Partner Advantage, AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Programme, and Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme. With notable titles like Healthcare Competency Partner with AWS, Microsoft Certified Gold Partner with Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Partner with Google Cloud Platform, CitiusTech is an SI partner for all major cloud service providers.
We can fill the gap between healthcare plans and cloud service providers since we are a SI partner to significant cloud services providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. It's about facilitating a complete transition, not just providing technical support.
Alliances with cloud service providers and SI partners are crucial for successfully executing the payer's digital vision. These collaborations offer a ground-breaking method for developing cutting-edge, scalable, adaptable, and secure architectural frameworks that can successfully meet changing needs and trends in the healthcare sector.
The switch to cloud-based solutions fortifies health plans for the future and improves interoperability, opening the door for smooth data transfer and better patient care. In addition, payers can drastically change their operations, enhancing outcomes and boosting efficiency with the help of such a potent tool.