What opportunities and risks stand out to healthcare finance leaders?

The U.S. healthcare sector is under pressure. Still recovering from the massive impact of COVID-19, it’s now struggling with high inflation and labor shortages. Conditions are tough, but the opportunity is massive: McKinsey estimates that total profit across the healthcare industry will grow at a 4% CAGR to $790 billion by 2026.1

We surveyed 200 finance professionals in the U.S. healthcare sector to understand how all this is changing healthcare finance teams’ priorities and risk perception, and how they compare with finance teams from other sectors.

Here are the key findings.

1. Technology is an important area of focus.

Deploying technology within the finance function is finance leaders’ second biggest priority (34%), after cost-cutting (41%). These two priorities are linked because businesses hope healthcare technology will make them more efficient. The research shows that many other sectors outside of healthcare also prioritize cost cutting and technology investment.

2. AI has great potential.

About six in 10 organizations believe AI in healthcare could completely redefine how they run and operate the finance function. In other sectors, it’s only about half of finance leaders.

In addition, when asked about their top three investment priorities specifically relating to technology, their top choice was using AI and machine learning to enhance insights from data.

3. There is a high level of interest in instant payments.

Finance leaders want to improve the payment experience for patients. Part of this will involve new forms of digital payments, such as instant payments. 70% intend to use instant payments in two years’ time, compared with 47% today.

Healthcare providers are also ahead of other sectors when it comes to using a range of digital payments: 54% already use B2C payment methods such as Zelle® and Venmo®, compared with 43% of other sectors.

4. Transformation is tough

Healthcare finance leaders have ambitious plans for modern technology. But putting those plans into action isn’t easy; hurdles are the absence of a strategy, inertia, and a lack of understanding of what’s possible. According to the research, 44% of healthcare finance leaders say that a lack of strategy is a top-three obstacle, compared with 36% in other sectors.


This is an image showing a doctor and a hospital administrator sitting next to each other. The doctor has a stethoscope and is wearing a lab coat. The administrator is holding a tablet device.

Read the full healthcare industry report for a detailed analysis.

The complete healthcare report dives deep into the findings from our survey to provide a rich analysis and synthesis of the responses. The research demonstrates how healthcare finance leaders differ from their counterparts.


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This discussion is intended to be informational only and is not exhaustive or conclusive. It is not intended to serve as a recommendation or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any particular product or service. It does not constitute advice and is issued without regard to any particular objective or the financial situation of any particular individual. Some of the information provided has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Other information represents the opinion of U.S. Bank and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Each individual's financial situation is unique. You should consult your tax, accounting and/or legal advisor for advice and information concerning your particular situation.

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