Improving financial health by embracing change: Q&A with Dan Buell

Change is the norm in healthcare. Changes in technology, information, staffing patterns, patient mix, payment and reimbursement are constant. Even so, healthcare organizations that remain agile can effectively navigate this flux to realize enhanced performance and a better patient experience.

We’ve asked Dan Buell, general manager at Experian Healthcare, to share his thoughts on what’s needed for success in the dynamic and evolving healthcare landscape. We also asked him to share some fun facts about himself, so you can get to know the people behind Experian Healthcare.

Enabling data to drive the industry

Q: What’s the biggest change needed for healthcare organizations of all sizes to be successful in today’s environment?

A: The single most important change is a new understanding of what data and analytics can do when effectively harnessed and leveraged. Conventional methodologies and approaches to revenue cycle management don’t work in the emerging healthcare environment. Organizations need data-driven analytics that help shape appropriate strategies to optimize financial performance.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge in healthcare revenue cycle management?

A: There are multiple challenges at the intersection of patient satisfaction, financial performance and compliance, including patient payment responsibility, identity theft and fraud, as well as the inability to translate data into meaningful insight. Many healthcare organizations struggle to balance these sometimes competing objectives. The compelling answer is that it can be done effectively with the right data-driven strategies.

Q: What current trend will have the most significant impact on the industry as a whole in the future?

A: Without a doubt, it’s data quality. You’re probably sensing a trend now — it is all about the data and will continue to be moving forward. To that end, healthcare is catching up on how to effectively use data and leverage analytics as many other industries already do. As healthcare’s use of data matures and the industry realizes the impact of lesser quality data, it will seek out key measures on the predictive nature of various data sets. That will help organizations mitigate risk, lower operational costs, drive operating margin improvement and optimize payment collection. And, more importantly, patients will have a better experience.

Q: Experian is known for data, not for healthcare. How can Experian Healthcare help organizations navigate change?

A: People know Experian as a global information and analytics powerhouse. Experian Healthcare blends those perspectives and capabilities with healthcare expertise to bring unique insights to help the industry’s financial health. We leverage data and analytics to optimize financial performance and, in turn, improve the patient experience. We empower healthcare organizations to make more informed business decisions.

The data behind Dan

Q: What’s your favorite day of the week?

A: We have a tradition of “Surprise Saturday” where my wife and I take the kids to some fun activity for the whole family. We all look forward to it.

Q: Who was your favorite concert and where?

A: My first concert was Rush with Neil Peart, who is probably the greatest drummer alive. However, I’d have to say the best concert ever was Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in Phoenix in the late 1990s – icons!