Cognizant acquires Bolder Healthcare Solutions for an undisclosed figure
Serving payers, healthcare providers, local governments and the pharmaceutical benefit management sector, global leader Cognizant is set to acquire Bolder Healthcare Solutions.
A privately-held provider of revenue cycle management (RCM) to hospitals, physician practices and other specialist healthcare organisations in the US, Bolder Healthcare will support Cognizant’s bid to improve efficiencies and enhance the quality of patient care for the future.
Throughout the years, Cognizant has continuously enhanced its expertise and capabilities to support healthcare providers and payers to undergo essential digital transformations and has undertook in a number of acquisitions related to business process services and software systems.
"As the healthcare industry continues to undergo significant transformation to a value-based care model, digital RCM services and solutions remove complexity and allow providers to streamline their operations," explained Kaushik Bhaumik, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Healthcare at Cognizant.
Situated in Louisville, Kentucky, Bolder Healthcare has become one of the fastest growing RCM companies within the US health system. Its RCM software and processes integrate and automate healthcare administrative and medical data to ensure benefit eligibility and accurate billing and collections, greatly reducing the time between deliveries of service to payment received.
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The company will therefore enable Cognizant to expand its range of digital solutions and consulting, IT and business process services into more hospitals, hospital outpatient departments, physician practices, and other specialty care providers. It will also work to support healthcare value chain and address the large provider segment of the US healthcare market.
"High-quality RCM solutions help providers achieve efficient management of their business, while placing more of their focus on the quality of patient care. When combined with Cognizant's broad set of offerings for payers and providers, Bolder Healthcare Solutions' capabilities and experts will open new market opportunities as we enable more payers and providers to embrace outcome-based models and innovate with data analytics, cognitive computing and robotic process automation for more efficient management of their businesses and ultimately better patient outcomes," added Bhaumik.
Michael Shea, CEO of Bolder Healthcare Solutions, commented, "Hospital and physician providers require a specialized RCM approach to maximize cash flow, lower costs, enhance financial performance and ensure new regulatory compliance demands are met. By joining forces with Cognizant, we will have many new tools that will be a catalyst for future growth.
The increased capabilities will allow Bolder to continue to be on the cutting edge of provider RCM and this forward looking combination will create new opportunities for Cognizant in the hospital provider, specialty physician, and other professional markets. We are bringing together an impressive level of expertise, best-in-class processes and technologies to help providers meet the many challenges they face.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.
NHSX releases new data plans, experts call for transparency
Patients in England will get "greater control" over their health and care data according to new proposals set out by the government.
In a new draft strategy called "Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data", Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock says that more effective use of data will deliver better patient-focused care. "This strategy seeks to put people in control of their own data, while supporting the NHS in creating a modernised system fit for the 21st century which puts patients and staff in pole position."
Under the new plans people will be able to access their medical records from different parts of the health system through different applications, to access test results, medication lists, procedures and care plans.
The strategy, published by NHSX, the government department that sets policies for the use of technology within the NHS, follows delays to the creation of a central database of patient records amid concerns over data sharing and a lack of transparency, with critics saying that only a small proportion of the public were made aware of the plans and the choice to opt out.
Kevin Curran, senior member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Professor of Cybersecurity at the University of Ulster, says that moving health records online raises concerns. "The move to an online app does seem like a natural progression, however there is a difference between having computerised records within our healthcare IT infrastructure and having those records reside on a public facing server.
"Having records inhouse limits the range and type of access – it's far more difficult for remote hackers" Curran said. "There are techniques that healthcare organisations can use to reduce the risk of future data breaches. One way is to make it ‘opt in’, so patients have the choice to decide whether their medical information is moved to a public facing service so that they can access it.
"However, those who do not opt in or download the app instead should have their records hosted in a non-public-facing cloud service. This way, if a data breach does occur, those who never used the app, or not wanted to, will not have had their details released."
The new strategy has been welcomed by some, with an emphasis on the need for transparency. Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: "Health data has played a critical role in the last year – from tracking COVID-19 outbreaks and developing treatments, to getting people booked in for their vaccines. It is critical that the use of data is accelerated if the NHS is to tackle the backlog of care and address the massive health challenges facing the country.
"It is particularly positive that the government has committed to building analytical and data science capability in the NHS and to improving data on social care. To ensure the full potential of data can be realised, the government must ensure transparency on how it will be used and the rights and options people have, as well as engaging with the public and health care professionals to build trust and show people how their data can improve the NHS and save lives."