What the Doctor Ordered: Healthcare Tech Association Launches
As IT systems in medical offices grow more complex, providers of practice management software will gain a unified voice and new educational and accreditation resources from the new Healthcare Administrative Technology Association.
Patients have become accustomed to the bells and whistles of modern doctors’ offices. But what most don’t see is the technology that drives the back end and connects the office to the vast web of healthcare providers, insurance payers, government regulators, and other stakeholders that characterize the 21st-century healthcare system.
This week, the makers of those systems got a new trade group of their own—the Healthcare Administrative Technology Association—to ensure a united voice on policy issues and a forum for sharing knowledge and developments in the field.
“Formal representation of such an important piece of the healthcare ecosystem is critical to the advancement of the industry,” said HATA Executive Director Tim McMullen, CAE, in a statement Monday announcing the launch. “HATA is a key stakeholder in the $40 billion physician revenue cycle industry and will be an active and influential voice promoting the goals and values within the healthcare administrative industry and driving administrative efficiencies.”
Medical offices use practice management software (PMS) to handle business processes like scheduling, billing, and submitting insurance claims. Demand for more complex systems is rising as more healthcare providers transition to electronic medical records (which are held in separate systems but are increasingly integrated with PMS) and face new record-keeping requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other healthcare legislation.
As HATA sees it, better use of technology will have significant cost-saving benefits. “Administrative simplification of claim processing is a key factor in influencing the cost of healthcare in the United States, and HATA will lead the movement in this area,” McMullen said.
To ensure compliance with new administrative requirements, IT teams in medical offices are rapidly upgrading their PMS systems. According to one estimate, the segment of the market that provides HR management programs for medical practices is, on its own, likely to double by 2019, EHR Intelligence, which covers news on electronic medical records, reported.
In addition to engaging in advocacy and providing ways for members to share information, HATA will participate in an ongoing initiative by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission to set accreditation criteria for PMS systems.
HATA’s principal members will be the companies that create and install PMS systems. The group will also offer affiliate and other membership options for related companies and professionals, trade associations, government bodies, and vendors.