The healthcare industry is one of the largest and most competitive business sectors in the world today. Creating and supporting new products and services whilst managing competitive risk has always been a complex task for healthcare providers, however, under global market pressure to provide value-based healthcare and increasing regulatory requirements, many organizations within the industry are now looking to digitally transform their processes to improve their operations and maximize their revenue. All whilst staying compliant with all current regulations and minimizing the risks associated with the complex management of healthcare enterprise.
Contract management is often a key area in which organizations involved in healthcare can benefit from moving from outdated legacy systems to a digital platform. Manual management on the scale needed by healthcare providers is hugely time-consuming, especially given the considerable number of new contracts healthcare organizations deal with on a regular basis and can often cause issues with compliance due to poor or non-existent audit controls. This increased risk from compliance issues can cause both reputational and financial damage and in a crowded market with organizations searching for any competitive advantage, any failure to meet current standards and regulations such as HIPAA, will have negative repercussions.
With manual contract management, the management structure is often just a collection of unwieldy processes and standalone legacy systems that does not work for any growth of a business. Managing your contract lifecycles in this way provides no stability or scalability, especially in the extended enterprises involved in healthcare.
Managing contract lifecycles when you have hundreds of complex healthcare contracts, from pharmaceuticals through to practitioners, each with their own individual clauses, contingencies, and value, can mean missed deadlines, renewals of poor performing contracts and a lack of data for analysis. In this digital age there really is no excuse for larger businesses to be running into these problems and automating the contract management process with contract management or contract lifecycle management (CLM) software should be a high priority for businesses or organizations in the healthcare industry.
By automating your contract management, you can gain a digital platform from which to access all the tools needed to standardize your entire contract management process, from contract creation and negotiation, monitoring and management of the contract and all obligations, through to off-boarding and contract reviews. Not only is this entire process automated, reducing the amount of resources needed, but you also get access to all the data required to make a success of your organization, enabling you to drive the business forward with analysis and fact-based decision making.
The benefits of automating healthcare contract management
Automated contract lifecycle software can help businesses digitize, create, manage, and monitor all their contracts at every stage in a contract lifecycle process. Due to the modern advancement of current technology, there really is no reason not to consider implementing CLM software to improve the efficiency of your organization. Having standardized contract management throughout the process can make a significant difference to your operational ability, as well as connecting and improving relationships with providers and practitioners, helping you stay at the top of your industry. And if your business experiences quick growth, you will already have the platform on which to grow.
Contract Creation and strategic sourcing
For most healthcare organizations, a lot of time and resources are spent on credentialing possible third parties and then creating contracts. With automated contract management software, you have access to credentialing APIs, reducing the amount of time and money spent on manual research and verification. The APIs combined with the unified data pool created by automated software by the collation of all your contracts and information, allows data-driven due diligence and strategic sourcing. This also has the added benefit of reducing the risk a third party may pose.
With automated software, you can create and store standard contract templates. With some automated software providers, such as Symfact for example, you get an editable template feature which enables standardization of legal, contract and amendment language, which is an effective and crucial step in any corporate policy to mitigate risk.
Streamlining this part of the contract lifecycle, in what was previously a time-consuming task, means you can allocate those free resources elsewhere, to the benefit of the company.
By moving to a digital platform and automating your management procedures, you standardize your processes throughout your entire contract management system, which can improve administrative efficiency by integrating and streamlining any siloes. This improves productivity by minimising time wastage and helps you optimize your governance.
A centralised repository
A standard feature of most contract management software is a central contract repository. This allows for the storage of all individual contracts and any associated documentation, creating a unified data source. This allows for a tighter control on the contract process by streamlining the contract creation and approvals process and reduces the loss of crucial data by storing everything in a single, digital location. It can also help with version control and by using metadata and data tags to search contracts for key words and clauses, information can be identified quickly and easily, making your healthcare contract management more efficient and optimizing the time and resources available to your organization.
If you choose an automated contract management system, all the information about your organization and associated entities will remain in one location, so you can maintain and manage complex contracts and control organizational structures without complications by using automated workflows. This gives your organization a controlled transparency and a better ability to manage a larger number of complex contracts at any given time.
This overall governance and control can have numerous benefits throughout the organizational model, from contract creation and approvals, to future-proofing your business and having the necessary framework in place to allow for scalability.
Data analysis and market insights
Due to the number of differing contracts negotiated and held by healthcare organizations on a regular basis, there is often simply not the resources to accurately analyze the data held within the contracts, and if your organization does have the employee resource, it is still more of a financial outlay than implementing CLM. By automating your data analysis with the tools available in automated software, you can gain insights into the value held in your current contracts and use the information to optimize those agreements, freeing up resources that can be better applied elsewhere in your organization.
Automated analysis of your contract data can also help to identify market trends in terms of third party and end user behaviours, in the context of wider business circumstances. The analysis of this data, as well as any operational data about your own organization, can then be applied to current and future decision-making processes, improving both performance and ROI.
By automating your healthcare contracting, you are better able to make fully informed and fact-based decisions regarding your contracts and their value, due to the utilization of the data pool created by the centralized contract repository and systematic use of metadata and data tags. By tracking what your organization deems as valuable information, you get actionable data and a comprehensive audit trail, supporting your compliance teams and reducing the risks associated with disputes. This transparency is entirely automated, valuable for your business relationships and without using any extra resource to do so.
By identifying and tagging your data, using trigger notifications for critical deadlines, milestones and events, automated software can offer your business full control over a contract lifecycle, especially during the contract renewal phase, as this is a particular provision that can be missed without adequate oversight and in the healthcare industry, this can be particularly costly.
Taking control and regularly reviewing all the available reporting data can also help plan for future agreements by helping to predict any possible future risk, and by using CLM, your organization guarantees a quick response to current trends and any issues that arise during the contract lifecycle such as poor contract performance, in-house and external operations, as well as flagging up any potential business relationships and opportunities.
To stay compliant with regulations and to improve the standards of business within the healthcare industry, it is important for organizations to improve their overall transparency and encourage visibility and communication. Not just throughout a contract lifecycle with the relevant third parties, but between the siloes created from years of manual management. By automating your management system and embracing the changes being made across the healthcare industry, you can have a positive impact on any current and future relationships and make the process of integrating new ways of business and operations easier through better collaboration with your extended enterprise and in-house departments.
Although it may prove a significant financial outlay, automating your contract management by implementing contract management software can help healthcare organizations to get the maximum amount of value from each of their contracts, whilst reducing both the time and resources spent on manual management. Improving your ROI.
To fit the financial and operational requirements of a healthcare organization, it is important to configure an automated software package to the needs and scale of contracts and operations. With the correct features, CLM software can have financial benefits to implementing such a system, especially compared with outdated processes. Improving overheads and containing cost are always high on a healthcare board’s priority list. By keeping a closer eye on workflows and reducing the time spent by employees on manually managing tasks, efficiency and productivity will improve, which in turn improves business growth and performance. By optimizing management and choosing the correct tools to be included with automated software, you can keep on top of any changes or events allowing you to assess and project long-term revenue. Plus, the reporting and auditing features of management software means organizations are always alert to compliance, which helps avoid financial penalties. If management software can be configured to needs and size, it is often a cost-effective method to streamline management and ensure a higher quality of governance throughout healthcare organizations.
Mitigating risk & ensuring compliance
Managing risk and ensuring compliance is often a complicated task for the healthcare industry. Not only do healthcare organizations have to comply with the regulations that govern the industry within your areas of operation, but you must comply with your own, internal policies and procedures. Automated software is designed to make that process simpler and help protect your business with control over standards and regulations.
By storing your contract data, you have a record and documentation of compliance with both industry and internal regulations and policies, while data analysis can identify incidents of non-compliance to allow for them to be dealt with in a timely manner.
Data analysis tools have improved capabilities for the management and monitoring of risk. As businesses experience growth and increase their number of contracts and higher value contracts, relationships and contracts change and grow, especially in relation to their value, so risks also change. This analysis allows healthcare organizations to have the framework in place to be proactive in their risk management rather than reactive.
What Symfact can offer you
As healthcare organizations adopt digitized and automated solutions to improve efficiency and manage the increasing risk of the economic global market and with digitalization at the forefront of many business initiatives, it is important that your contract management matches the ambitions and strategy of your business. As your business moves forward digitally, automated contract software can streamline key elements and processes and provide the framework to simplify contract management and protect businesses with fact-based decision making.
Here at Symfact, we believe by implementing our software, especially tailored for the healthcare provider contracting market, you ensure your organization is adopting the best platform available that can help optimize your business potential.
Our solution is highly configurable to your data requirements and taxonomy, and thanks to our cross-platform open API architecture, we offer software that can integrate with a range of different systems and software. Any existing tools or processes, or even legacy systems that are already being successfully utilized within your organisation can be retained and implemented into our CLM platform.
Our automated healthcare solution is aligned to modern business processes and work seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure. This enables you to effectively control and adapt contract management software to any current framework you have in place, especially if your business is already managing complex healthcare contracts.
Other key features of our contract management for healthcare software are:
- Onboarding/Intake of new Providers, Sites and Practitioners
- Credentialing APIs
- Address verifications
- AI data extraction of Form submissions for efficient and accurate Add/Change/Delete processing
- Assign review and approval tasks by department and staff workload
- Monitor and report the progress of each submission’s workflow
- Create feeds to Online and other Directories
- Configurable Process management by department and business event for adds, changes, and deletes of Providers, Practitioners and Locations
- Full audit trail of all system activity
- HIPAA compliant site hosting
- Alerts and reminders automatically generated, with escalations if not addressed
- Integrated contract templates, clause libraries and contracts using MS Word
- Contract document generation with User-defined MS Word templates and system metadata
- Integrated eSignature for contract execution
- Embedded alerts and reminders
- Data structure supporting relationships between Providers, Sites and Practitioners
- Validation to NPI
- REST APIs to support legacy system interfaces
- Role-based security to control access to data and system functions
If you want automated contract management that matches the ambitions and strategy of your healthcare organization and can provide a base for business growth and larger extended enterprise, then our CLM software has everything you need. So please, contact us here at Symfact today.