Healthcare provider organizations have a need to be able to determine the true cost of delivering care to their patients. Reimbursement models in healthcare are increasingly shifting from fee for service to alternative payment models, such as single payments for a bundle of care services and per member, per month, payments to manage the health of defined cohorts of patients. Value-based care initiatives are also aligning reimbursement levels to quality, outcomes, and patient experience. Healthcare provider organizations are seeking solutions that will align expenditures for resources to reimbursements for services, so that the margin can be accurately determined for each of their service lines by provider, by payor plan, and by patient cohort. Additionally, organizations need the capability to accurately predict and track the margin impact of performance improvement initiatives and cost control measures.
My team was assigned to spearhead the design of a net-new product called "True Cost". In the absence of an existing product to emulate or enhance, a lack of expertise in cost accounting, and the additional challenge of designing for a regulated industry; I partnered with a cost accounting subject matter expert and Healthcare product manager to collaboratively design a healthcare cost accounting process flow that evolved into a simple and easy-to-use product with the help of a visual designer.
It's not always scalable to learn every facet of a subject that you are designing for; however, when designing for True Cost, I found that learning even minimally about Healthcare cost accounting would transform this experience and the market space.
Where do you start when you know nothing about cost accounting? Google, of course! I took time out to research cost accounting, cost accounting tools, and even read up on the mechanisms of cost accounting that were being leveraged in healthcare. This became my baseline understanding of the products intent, the users needs, and the potential design opportunities.
Next, I teamed up with a healthcare product manager to identify the insights that an executive at a healthcare organization would be interested in that would essentially drive market interest in True Cost.
Based on the most important insights that someone could potentially derive from True Cost, I worked closely with a Subject Matter Expert to walkthrough and design the steps by which a user could create a cost model. Ultimately, a cost model would in turn power the insights that would inform executive decisions in a healthcare organization.
True Cost is currently in development with a release targeted for Summer 2018. Due to the sensitive nature of the product, I cannot release more information surrounding the product, research, or design.