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CommerceHealthcare Shares Healthcare Finance Trends and Insights Report

Report highlights 11 trends influenced by the pandemic and other timely considerations.

Kansas City, MO – January 27, 2021 – As hospitals and healthcare organizations across the country continue to reflect on lessons learned in 2020 and look for strategic growth opportunities in the New Year and beyond, CommerceHealthcare® releases its third annual Healthcare Finance Trends and Insights Report. The report includes key highlights for industry leaders to consider as they prepare future strategies and initiatives and manage ongoing industry disruption.

An in-depth analysis of research combined with practice experience produced 11 high-impact trends for 2021, ranging across regulatory, financial and technological considerations. The report’s key insights include:

  • COVID-19 disruption will continue to loom over the landscape, creating massive financial challenges, operational dislocation and turning a spotlight on health equity.
  • Telehealth is gaining momentum, due to increased acceptance and relaxed regulations for reimbursement and cross-state delivery of care.
  • Political and regulatory development continues, following the CARES Act and Provider Relief Fund.
  • Challenges persist resulting from the economic environment, healthcare spending and medical costs. The speed of recovery for healthcare organizations will depend on economic rebound.
  • Patient financial pressures are substantial. The economic downturn has exacerbated ongoing personal financial struggles for many, often forcing patients to make difficult choices between healthcare or other bills.
  • Financial management is a balancing act for providers.
  • Investing in technology is imperative for care delivery transformation and cost control. Despite limited budgets, providers need to invest in technology that supports the twin goals of scaling remote work and care as well as accelerating care delivery transformation.
  • The migration to electronic payments is rapidly increasing. Technology has altered the finance landscape, notably the payments sector.
  • Workflow automation offers significant cost savings opportunities. The need to streamline the industry’s persistent and costly complexity has been brought into sharp focus by the pandemic. As much as one-third of administrative spending could be reduced through more robust process automation.
  • Workforce management is a top priority. This is crucial to combat burnout and reduce staff shortages, build the future workforce and manage remote/onsite decision-making.
  • Cybersecurity remains a high threat. Healthcare organizations are especially susceptible to ransomware attacks due to the high volume of sensitive data. Shoring this up to protect data and finances is critical.

"A key theme emerged in the development of this report: despite significant challenges for the industry, opportunities abound,” said Rick Heise, senior vice president of healthcare at Commerce Bank. “Our team is energized by the momentum we are seeing in the industry. Healthcare finance leaders are accelerating payment automation beyond survival mode and their organizations are emerging stronger in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape.”

Healthcare organizations are facing a long list of challenges, including cost reduction and optimization; changes to care delivery models; COVID-19 regulations and PPE; pandemic management protocols (PMPs); and investing in data structures for better decision making. While most have implemented electronic patient healthcare records, many are unaware of additional opportunities for advancing the use of technology within their practices and organizations to achieve cost savings through automation.

“Hospitals and health systems are focused on patient care and improvements to the delivery of that care, both clinical and financial,” said Heise. “The goal of our specialty healthcare team is to consult on opportunities to guide the automation of payments from their patients and insurance companies, which is still a highly manual industry practice. The Trends and Insights Report is just one way we’re able to offer that support.”

About Commerce Bank
With $31.5 billion in assets1, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a registered bank holding company offering a full line of banking services, including payment solutions, investment management and securities brokerage. Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., leverages more than 150 years of proven strength and experience to help individuals and businesses solve financial challenges. In addition to offering payment solutions across the U.S., Commerce Bank currently operates full-service banking facilities across the Midwest including the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas, Springfield, Central Missouri, Central Illinois, Wichita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and Denver. It also maintains commercial offices in Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Nashville, Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids. Commerce delivers high-touch service and sophisticated financial solutions at regional branches, commercial offices, ATMs, online, mobile and through a 24/7 customer service line.

1. As of September 30, 2020

About CommerceHealthcare®
CommerceHealthcare® develops long-term banking relationships with healthcare providers through automated payment solutions, patient financing, lending, investing and asset management. To deliver the best patient care, health systems, hospitals and physician practices need financial results, not promises. Tailored, ROI-based solutions enable providers to find cost savings, improve cash flow and leverage new opportunities in everyday processes. From remittance processing to patient loan programs, cash flow to money management strategies, CommerceHealthcare® helps providers improve processes, increase margin and reduce financial risk. CommerceHealthcare® solutions are provided by Commerce Bank.