Industry Trends and Predictions for the Future of Hospital Finance

By  Al Brander, CSO

In this article, we will explore some of the key trends and predictions shaping the future of hospital finance, including the increasing cost pressure; the greater reliance on data analytics; changes in payment models: and the rise of telehealth. We will also discuss the role that dark data can play in optimizing the cost-cycle and improving financial performance.

  1. Increased cost pressure: With healthcare costs continuing to rise, hospitals are facing significant pressure to control costs and improve financial performance. This has led to a focus on cost-saving initiatives such as standardizing products and services, optimizing supply chain management, and reducing waste. Hospitals are looking for ways to streamline operations and find efficiencies to reduce costs and improve their bottom line.
  1. Greater reliance on data analytics: Data analytics is playing a larger role in hospital finance, as hospitals use it to track and analyze financial performance and identify areas for improvement. By utilizing data analytics, hospitals can make more informed financial decisions, better understand their operations, and optimize their performance. Data analytics can help hospitals to identify trends, forecast future performance, and make more strategic decisions.
  2. Increased regulatory oversight: As healthcare becomes more regulated, hospitals are facing increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This means hospitals are under pressure to ensure compliance with regulations and standards, and to maintain proper documentation in their financial processes. Failing to meet these regulatory requirements can result in fines, penalties, and damage to a hospital’s reputation.
  3. Changes in payment models: The shift from fee-for-service to value-based payment models is changing the way that hospitals are reimbursed for care. Under these models, hospitals are rewarded for providing high-quality, efficient care, rather than simply for the volume of services they provide. This is driving a focus on quality and efficiency in hospital finance, as hospitals seek to optimize their operations and deliver the best possible care to their patients.
  4. The growing adoption of telehealth: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of telehealth – which allows patients to receive medical care remotely through video consultations with healthcare providers. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, as telehealth provides numerous benefits such as improved access to care for patients living in rural areas or with mobility issues, and reduced strain on hospitals and clinics. Telehealth can also change the way that hospitals generate revenue and may lead to shifts in financial models and reimbursement for care.
  1. Mergers and acquisitions: The healthcare industry has seen an increase in mergers and acquisitions in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue. Hospitals may consider merging with other organizations to achieve economies of scale and increase their bargaining power with payers.
  2. Rising patient financial responsibility: The increasing trend of high deductible health plans has led to a rise in patient financial responsibility. Hospitals are facing challenges in collecting payments from patients, and are implementing strategies such as offering payment plans and utilizing patient financial advocates to address this issue.
  3. Focus on patient satisfaction: With the rise of value-based payment models, hospitals are placing a greater emphasis on patient satisfaction. This includes not only the quality of medical care, but also the overall patient experience and patient engagement. Hospitals are working to improve the patient experience by investing in customer service training for staff and implementing technology such as patient portals and mobile apps.
  4. Increased use of technology: Technology is playing a larger role in hospital finance, with the adoption of electronic health records, revenue cycle management systems, and other financial software. These technologies can help hospitals to streamline processes, improve accuracy, and increase efficiency.
  5. Growing importance of population health management: Hospitals are increasingly taking on a broader role in the health of their communities, with a focus on population health management. This includes initiatives such as disease management programs and community health outreach efforts, which can help to improve the overall health of the population and reduce the burden on the healthcare system.


Overall, the future of hospital finance is shaped by a range of trends and predictions, including increased cost pressure, the reliance on data analytics, regulatory changes, and the adoption of new payment models and technologies. To navigate these challenges, hospitals must find ways to control costs, optimize operations, and improve financial performance.

One key area to focus on is “dark data,” which refers to data that is not being utilized by hospitals to inform financial decision-making. By harnessing the power of dark data, hospitals can gain valuable insights into their operations and identify opportunities for improvement.

Additionally, it is important for hospitals to understand the “cost-cycle” in healthcare, which refers to the interdependent relationship between cost, quality, and value. By understanding this cycle, hospitals can find ways to optimize the delivery of care and improve financial performance.