Insurers see outdated technology and a lack of automation as key challenges holding back their organization’s operational efficiency and driving up costs, according to new survey results from HealthEdge. But only 16 percent would reallocate savings from improved operational efficiencies towards innovation. Thirty-seven percent said they would apply the cost savings to their bottom lines.

The survey indicates that while insurance executives value automation, few are ready to commit the resources to update old technology.

The survey found that 53 percent of health insurance executives ranked their organization’s efficiency as being very efficient.

Thirty-five percent listed manual tasks that take time and resources as being their greatest challenge to lowering costs and increasing efficiency.

Twenty-four percent said the greatest opportunity was in automating processes and 26 percent felt that doing so was the most important action their organizations could take to increase operational efficiencies.

The survey was conducted by Survata, which interviewed 101 online respondents between July 12 and July 17.

“While (payers) are often under regulatory mandates to keep operations costs controlled, in many cases they still have a high amount of manual, wasteful processes. But, companies like Amazon threaten to disrupt healthcare like they have other industries,” said Harry Merkin, HealthEdge vice president of marketing.

Outdated technology is hindering operational efficiency and undermining strategic efforts.

“And while they recognize that modern technology solutions can bring with them marked improvements in operational performance, many don’t seem to be fully committed to fixing the problem,”  said Steve Krupa, CEO of HealthEdge.

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