May 23, 2024

Holistic Pulse

Healthcare is more important

West Monroe Unveils Suite of Offerings to Tackle Pressing Challenges in Healthcare Industry

5 min read

Healthcare organizations can save up to 30% in proactive ways to address labor shortages, rising costs, and Medicare Star Ratings changes

CHICAGO, March 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a strategic move to address the evolving and critical challenges within the healthcare sector, West Monroe announced the launch of four innovative offerings. These solutions, which are built on the firm’s proven capabilities but augmented by access to new technologies, partnerships, and cutting-edge data and analytics, are meticulously designed to confront the pressing issues currently plaguing the healthcare industry, including labor challenges, escalating costs, and the imperative to adapt to new Medicare Star Ratings.

The challenges healthcare organizations face are significant: Operating margins for non-profit health systems fell to 1% to 2% at the end of last year, according to Fitch Ratings, and the sector is now in the credit firm’s “deteriorating” category. Rising costs, especially in salaries and wages, are playing a significant role, as worker shortages continue: The healthcare industry had about 1.8 million job openings in December but added only around 70,000 employees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The payer industry is also preparing for a significant change in measurement of Medicare Star Rating, a critical factor in determining the quality of care and reimbursement levels, which arrives in 2027.

These issues underscore the urgent need for innovative and effective solutions. The four offerings were designed specifically to help organizations find savings they can reinvest in their business.

Casey Foss, Chief Commercial Officer at West Monroe, emphasized the significance of West Monroe’s new offerings for the healthcare industry. “In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, it’s imperative for organizations to stay ahead of the curve,” said Foss, whose division partners with the firm’s delivery teams to create offerings. “Our new and expanded solutions leverage advanced data analytics and benchmarks to first streamline operations for healthcare providers and payers, significantly enhancing efficiency. This strategic approach not only puts them on better financial footing, it better positions them to swiftly tackle critical challenges and gets them back into growth mode.”

The new offerings include:

  • Clinical Workforce Modernization: This offering addresses the critical workforce challenges faced by healthcare providers, showing up to 20% savings on the inpatient bedside workforce in lower acuity departments. Through strategic alignment and modernization of the care team, and with a data-driven approach, health systems can achieve financial resilience, increased workforce satisfaction, and enhanced patient care at a time when labor challenges are most prevalent.
  • Cost Optimization for Payers and Providers: This comprehensive solution has incorporated new third-party data sets for benchmarking and has been adjusted to run in a condensed timeframe for faster delivery. It targets financial and operational efficiency, promising 20-30% savings in IT spend for both payers and providers. By optimizing operational processes and leveraging technology, including generative AI, healthcare organizations can expect significant reductions in operational costs and improved margins. This offering builds on the firm’s previous successes in this area: Last year West Monroe optimized one healthcare provider’s IT operating model and talent strategy that led to more than $400 million in savings.
  • Data-Driven Healthcare Transformation
    This offering enables healthcare organizations to discover and leverage hidden value in their data. Using advanced analytics, data monetization, and generative AI, they can tackle key challenges such as post-COVID adaptation, workforce shortages, and financial constraints by setting up AI governance, identifying valuable data use cases, and creating new revenue streams. The approach is designed for healthcare payers and providers aiming to improve healthcare outcomes, operational efficiency, and financial health. With a focus on rapid value identification and realization with investments in AI and data capabilities, this offering helps healthcare organizations maximize the impact of their data assets for innovation and growth while also navigating the complexities of today’s healthcare ecosystem.
  • Medicare Star Rating Optimization: Aimed at health payers, this offering helps payers start now to adapt to the data needs and calculation requirements that will come with the Star rating changes—which will be replaced by a new system that incorporates the Health Equality Index. By gaining visibility into data gaps and potential risk now, health payers can avoid the loss of a 1-star reduction which can lead to a 13.4-17.6% decrease in revenue and an 8-12% loss in enrollment growth year over year.

Larry Briski, leader of the healthcare sector at West Monroe over the payer and provider sectors, highlights the comprehensive approach of these offerings. “Our multidisciplinary approach combining healthcare expertise with technology, data, operations, IT strategy, and people & organization expertise takes a holistic approach to these pressing healthcare issues—a tested path to enduring results,” Briski said. “These offerings were designed with real clients in mind who have already signed on with West Monroe.”

West Monroe’s deep industry expertise spans the healthcare sector, having partnered with Visionworks, Allina Health, MyEyeDr., the American Medical Association, and numerous regional and multi-state health payers and hospitals. Collectively, West Monroe has either saved money or opened new revenue streams for its healthcare clients in the billions. This extensive experience underpins the development of these offerings, ensuring they are grounded in real-world needs and opportunities for transformation.

For more information about West Monroe’s healthcare expertise and these offerings, please visit West Monroe Healthcare & Life Sciences.

About West Monroe
West Monroe is a digital services firm that was born in technology but built for business—partnering with companies in transformative industries to deliver quantifiable financial value. We believe that digital is a mindset—not a project, a team, or a destination—and it’s something companies become, not something they do. That’s why we work in diverse, multidisciplinary teams that blend management consulting, digital design, and product engineering to move companies from traditional ways of working to digital operating models—and create experiences that transcend the digital and physical worlds. Connected by the five values that drive our culture, our 2,000 employees work collaboratively across the firm with the belief that our clients’ success is our success. Visit WestMonroe.com to learn more.

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SOURCE West Monroe Partners

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