12 automation and analytics takeaways from the 2020 Crowe Healthcare Summit

| 10/6/2020
2020 Crowe Healthcare Summit: 12 automation and analytics takeaways

What do healthcare finance, net revenue, and reimbursement leaders around the country think about technology generally and about data and analytics specifically? A series of online attendee polls taken during several educational sessions at the all-virtual 2020 Crowe Healthcare Summit captured their thoughts. Takeaways include insights on the status of automation and analytics today and how leaders intend to use automation and analytics in the future to improve the financial performance of their hospitals, health systems, and medical practices.

Here are takeaways from and breakdowns of attendee answers to 12 different polling questions taken during the 2020 Crowe Healthcare Summit. Each breakdown includes the number of responses and a link to the session during which the question or questions were asked. (Note that results might not add up to 100%, due to rounding.)

Takeaway 1: Leaders say they are uncertain about whether their organizations are using data to more effectively manage their capital assets.

Question: To what extent is asset utilization data used during your capital process today?


  • 60.2% – I don’t know enough about our current process.
  • 18.6% – Asset utilization data is always used when making capital decisions.
  • 14.2% – Asset utilization data is sometimes used when making capital decisions.
  • 7.1% – Asset utilization data is never used when making capital decisions. 

Total responses: 113

Session:Operating in the new normal of healthcare: Cash management and cost efficiency

Takeaway 2: Leaders say budget reconciliation is ripe for automation.

Question: Which area do you think has the most automation potential?


  • 41.7% – Reconciliation 
  • 29.1% – Reporting 
  • 15.0% – Modeling 
  • 14.2% – Sourcing/validation 

Total responses: 247

Session:Journey to automation: How automation can improve your finance function performance

Takeaway 3: Leaders say task automation is the most popular type of automation.

Question: Has your organization invested in the following types of automation?

  • 42.2% – Task automation 
  • 11.3% – Robotic process automation 
  • 4.3% – Interactive automation 
  • 3.5% – Cognitive automation 
  • 38.7% – Two or more of all of those 

Total responses: 230

Session: Journey to automation: How automation can improve your finance function performance

Takeaway 4: Leaders say accounts payable is ripe for automation.

Question: Which finance function do you think has the most potential for automation?


  • 37.8% – Accounts payable
  • 18.9% – Accounting
  • 16.4% – Net revenue and reimbursement
  • 10.9% – Payroll
  • 7.1% – Decision support
  • 6.3% – Budget and planning
  • 2.1% – Capital management
  • 0.4% – Treasury 

Total responses: 238 

Session:Journey to automation: How automation can improve your finance function performance

Takeaway 5: Leaders say becoming more efficient is the goal of most finance function automation.

Question: Which automation benefit is most important to your organization?


  • 41.7% – Efficiency 
  • 22.7% – Quality 
  • 9.3% – Compliance 
  • 8.9% – Speed 
  • 8.5% – Insight 
  • 7.3% – Agility 
  • 1.6% – Experience 

Total responses: 247

Session:Journey to automation: How automation can improve your finance function performance

Takeaway 6: Leaders say they spend too much time looking for opportunities to improve.

Question: In your current roles, what best describes the time you spend “finding the problem” versus “solving the problem”?


  • 47.7% – It takes some effort, but we have access to the data necessary. 
  • 24.3% – We spend too much time digging through data to find our opportunities. 
  • 15.3% – We’re always focused on our top opportunities with little effort finding them. 
  • 12.6% – It’s a never-ending battle to find and validate the data required.

Total responses: 333 

Session:Closing keynote: The power of community

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Takeaway 7: Leaders say they look at their data at least monthly.

Question: How often do you monitor key net revenue-oriented statistics?


  • 46.6% – Monthly 
  • 18.7% – Daily 
  • 17.4% – Weekly 
  • 17.4% – Other frequency

Total responses: 219 

Session: “COVID-19 net revenue modeling and budgeting considerations”

Takeaway 8: Leaders say they use a variety of tools versus one tool to manage their organization’s financial performance.

Question: How do you primarily engage with data and insights in your day-to-day within your organization?


  • 27.8% – Bolt-on application or two
  • 13.1% – Centralized data and dashboard repositories using software like Tableau, Power BI™, Qlik™, etc.
  • 11.0% – Electronic health record-related data sources in the form of extracts, reports, and embedded dashboards 
  • 48.2% – A blend of all of these. It’s hard to pick one as my favorite tool.

Total responses: 245 

Session:Creating a data analytics strategy using Crowe RCA

Takeaway 9: Leaders say they have a ways to go to optimize data reporting and analytics. 

Question: How would you describe where you and your organization stand on your journey to optimize reporting and analytics?


  • 49.8% – We’re well on our way, but we still have a few key initiatives we’d like to complete. 
  • 25.1% – We’re not quite at square one, but we have a lot of room to grow in our journey. 
  • 18.4% – We’re a very mature operation and mostly in the incremental improvement phase. 
  • 6.8% – We’re just starting to think about needs beyond basic functionality in core tools. Our journey is just beginning.

Total responses: 207

Session:Creating a data analytics strategy using Crowe RCA

Takeaway 10: Leaders say their revenue cycle is ripe for intelligent automation.

Question: Where do you see the greatest opportunities for intelligent automation?


  • 35.3% – Revenue cycle
  • 19.8% – Net revenue and reimbursement
  • 16.1% – Accounts payable
  • 12.8% – Accounting
  • 7.9% – Payroll
  • 7.6% – Budgeting and planning
  • 0.6% – Treasury 

Total responses: 329

Session:Emerging trends in 2020 healthcare

Takeaway 11: Leaders say analytics is affecting them more than even telehealth.

Question: What technology trends are most greatly affecting your daily work life?


  • 31.2% – Advanced analytics 
  • 24.0% – Telehealth
  • 6.5% – None
  • 6.2% – Interoperability
  • 4.0% – Robotic process automation
  • 4.0% – 5G networks
  • 24.0% – Other

Total responses: 321

Session:Emerging trends in 2020 healthcare

Takeaway 12: Despite recognizing its potential, leaders have yet to go all in on automation.

Question: In your current role, how much opportunity do you have to contribute to automating processes within your department?


  • 42.8% – Somewhat involved
  • 22.6% – Not involved
  • 20.7% – Highly involved
  • 13.8% – Trying to be involved

Total responses: 376

Session:Innovation keynote: The intelligent healthcare experience

The potential to transform

The combination of automation and analytics has the potential to transform the finance, net revenue, and reimbursement processes at hospitals, health systems, and medical practices in the U.S., according to attendees of this year’s Crowe Healthcare Summit. However, most attendees say they have yet to fully embrace automation and analytics or use them to their maximum potential. 

Where is your provider organization along the automation and analytics spectrum?  We can help you figure that out and help get you where you want to go.

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Daniel Gautschi
Daniel Gautschi
Chief Operating Officer, Kodiak Solutions