Proving ROI: What Is the True Cost of Out-of-Date Technology?

Healthcare payers often face challenges as they work to speed up processes, improve member satisfaction and minimize compliance risks. A recent study found that more than half of payers (53%) ranked “improving data efficiencies” as a top priority. Additionally, over half of respondents said delivering a positive member experience is highly important. Investing in technology helps you reach these goals, but proving ROI doesn’t always feel easy.   

New technology investments are often viewed as expenses rather than assets. But if you can show the value of that investment and the savings that will come with it, you can shift the conversation and make it easier to get stakeholder support.  

Variables that play into ROI  

If you’re feeling uncertain about how much to budget for new technology, you aren’t alone. Many start the research process without a budget in mind, leaning on potential partners to provide estimates. Gathering estimates is a good starting point, but if you want manager buy-in, you need to get clear on ROI. A few important ROI considerations include:  

  • The reduction of time-consuming processes. What processes will you streamline, and how long do the existing processes take? For example, if a process takes 10 steps and the technology cuts that down to three, the time savings is significant. Furthermore, you can put a dollar amount on those savings.  
  • The benefit of easing employee stress levels. Over the past couple of years, an increasing number of employees have been leaving their jobs. More than 4 million workers switched jobs in the past year alone, and 44% of workers say they’re actively looking to make a change. However, filling open positions takes time, and in the meantime, existing staff are often overwhelmed. Does the new technology streamline tasks? Does it save time? If so, this reduces employee stress and potential burnout.  
  • The ability to mitigate compliance risks. Payers often invest in technology after experiencing an audit and compliance violations. But many payers choose to get ahead of this risk and invest in technology to improve compliance readiness. You can put a dollar amount on potential exposure and calculate this into your ROI.  

In addition to the benefits that a solution provides to your department, consider any cross-department benefits. Viewing the investment from a company perspective versus a department perceptive will help you make a stronger case.  

Recognizing savings that extend beyond your department  

Technology solutions often impact various departments, and leveraging those benefits will help prove your case. For example, you might purchase a solution that streamlines contracts and another technology that speeds up the credentialing process. These solutions are part of the same package but provide positive ROI across various departments.  

For example, Magellan Health, a payer that serves 53.9 million individuals and offers health plans in the behavioral health and specialty markets, adopted one such solution and decreased credentialing process time by 72%. In scenarios where it once took up to 50 days to process an application, it now takes 14 to 20 days, freeing up employees to complete other tasks while improving provider relationships.  

If you can show benefits like these upfront, you can make a stronger case for investment. Additionally, you can account for how the new technology supports existing and future growth and add those benefits into your ROI.  

The ROI of future growth  

ROI is critical to the adoption of any solution, but it’s also about shifting from a defensive to an offensive position. Payers often look for a new solution after experiencing a compliance audit. Or they have plans to expand into new states and must show regulatory authorities they have the infrastructure to handle growth.  

Presenting ROI is more effective when you step outside of your department’s perspective. Your company likely has goals around future growth, and if you can align your technology investment with those goals, your business case is much stronger.  

If you aren’t sure where to start, download our cheat sheet. We’ll give you ROI calculation examples and the exact talking points to present the case to your manager. Then use it to make a stronger case with your manager and get your budget approved.