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Why Healthcare Needs AI for Contracts

September 8, 2023
Many healthcare organizations use legacy contract management modules part of omnibus healthcare tools that are mile-wide and inch deep. It’s time for them to transition to contract lifecycle management and got the benefits of AI capabilities.

For some years, many healthcare organizations have managed their contract processes using modules or add-ons to broader, omnibus healthcare management platforms. (A key example is MediTract CLM, offered by TractManager, which was acquired by symplr in 2020.) Such solutions may include functions like patient scheduling, medical records management, and staff licensing, which can help healthcare providers manage a range of operational needs beyond contracting. 

However, unlike non-healthcare-specific contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions, these legacy healthcare contract management tools lack AI-powered contract analytics. Used widely in other industries, contract AI automatically extracts a wide range of data points quickly and accurately, enabling advanced capabilities for both pre- and post-signature contracts. These include automated reminders for upcoming expiring or auto-renewing agreements, credentials, and licenses; dashboards visualizing compliance metrics; and streamlined audits.

As a result, healthcare organizations are increasingly making the switch to non-industry-specific contract management solutions that leverage AI – and those that haven’t yet done so are wise to begin exploring the benefits they’re missing. Here’s why.

Contract AI eliminates error-prone, manual data entry 

Legacy healthcare CLM solutions rely on tedious manual entry of every individual data field to populate valuable contract data. Contracts have been described as “tiny jails for data” because of the vast amounts of operational and transactional information they contain. However most organizations fail to capture and act on this valuable data because it requires that human beings read every document and dedicate long periods of time to copying and pasting key information into various fields.

Using an AI-powered CLM, the simple act of storing new contracts in the platform will mean that key contract information is tracked and extracted without anyone lifting a finger. This is particularly important for healthcare providers with multiple locations who are weary of consolidating their documents and sifting through them to find what is relevant. AI-powered CLMs can take large volumes of contracts and related documents and create a searchable, reportable, intelligent repository in a matter of days.

Contract AI streamlines healthcare-related audits 

Many healthcare providers rely on public and private grants that require audits to, for example, ensure the credentials of employed doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals are current. Teams using even the most robust add-ons available for tracking such licenses are still tasked with manually entering every employee’s name, identifying that each document is a license, capturing the expiration date of the license, and more.

A modern AI-powered CLM can capture all this information automatically so, when audits arise, your team is ready without the tedious ongoing manual work. Even more, you can be automatically notified when, for example, a doctor’s license is approaching expiration. With contract AI, audit prep is transformed from all-hands-on-deck fire drills to simple queries and reports.

Contract AI enhances healthcare vendor management 

Healthcare providers often find themselves in elaborate webs of contractual rights and obligations with research organizations and universities, not to mention their supply chain and litany of vendors. This means healthcare contracting teams need a way to automate alerts about obligations such as renewals, expirations, and late payment penalties, as well as benefits such as early payment discounts, volume pricing, rebates, and more. 

Modern contract AI can track and surface rights and obligations like these automatically, providing legal and business teams the opportunity to streamline vendor management, fulfill obligations, and ensure they’re securing every benefit they’re entitled to. 

Contract AI can be easily trained to identify healthcare-specific data points 

Healthcare organizations need access to accurate contract visibility to comply with regulatory frameworks around data privacy (HIPAA, HITECH), staff licensures (a condition of HRSA), and Medicare and Medicaid (Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute). Legal teams may be asked which counterparties the organization needs to notify in the event of data breach, which partners have domain-specific confidentiality restrictions, and whether or not new changes to insurance schemes will affect the organization’s bottom line. 

Modern CLM tools allow users to train industry-specific AI models on the fly to track any information they need, without special coding skills or dependencies on service providers. Having the flexibility to track anything across hospital contracts lets general counsels quickly address the needs of data-hungry executives throughout their organization. 

AI-extracted contract data can be shared with healthcare management solutions

While omnibus healthcare management solutions may proffer that the decision is between mile-wide, inch-deep solutions or a series of disconnected point solutions, this is a false choice. The evolution of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and integration tools (like Workato, Tray.io, and Zapier) means healthcare providers can sync existing repositories and distribute AI-extracted contract data to virtually any solution they use to manage their operations. 

Using APIs, organizations can choose the best tools for each function, without compromising on connectivity or data flow. This approach is especially beneficial for large-scale healthcare systems with multiple facilities, ensuring a unified view of contracts regardless of where the original documents are stored. The emergence of APIs enables a harmonious blend of specialized tools without having to buy into a monolithic healthcare management solution.

Given these developments, the movement towards AI-powered CLM in healthcare will only increase as organizations seek greater efficiency, accuracy, and compliance. As healthcare organizations face increasing demands – from regulatory response, to data-driven risk management, to cost containment and revenue retention – the power of AI for contracts becomes undeniable. 

Interested in seeing an AI-powered CLM in action? Request a demo today!

Find out how

Evisort

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Test Evisort on your own contracts to see how you can save time, reduce risk, and accelerate deals.

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Find out how

Evisort

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