Despite all the uncertainty surrounding the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, the health care industry speeds along. Patients, doctors, and health care systems continually search for practical solutions to issues surrounding electronic health records (EHR), care coordination, and enterprise resource planning (ERP).
The major concerns for the EHR segment continue to be privacy, confidentiality and system compatibility between doctors, hospitals, and diagnostic facilities. In April 2017, a Pennsylvania-based cardiac monitoring firm incurred $2.5 million in fines triggered by a 2012 data breach after a laptop was stolen from an employee’s vehicle. It turns out the company had no process to secure protected health information (PHI) and the rest is painful history.
Positive patient outcomes often prove difficult because of human nature. Sometimes patients forget their meds, skip doctor appointments, and mismanage treatment plans. The onus doesn’t rest entirely on the patient. Outdated clinical workflows don’t help. Service providers continue to disjointedly manage admissions, discharges, and follow-ups. And the industry screams for improved workflow processes as estimates reveal 44,000 to 98,000 patient deaths result from medical errors each year.
Inside medical facilities, efficiency, and in turn, profitability always rank high among the many vexing operational issues that administrators face. Large health care systems struggle to streamline and centralize financial functions such as billing, payroll, and inventory management. The success of ERP software implementation depends on the program itself, but also requires buy-in from management and dynamic training programs. Reported results reveal the positive impact of tech solutions. In 2014, Truven’s top 100 hospitals, compared to their peers, saved about $1,733 per case in service areas that included cardiology and gastroenterology.
As revolutionary medical services and groundbreaking specialty drugs come to market, patient utilization increases. These advances suggest a boon for the health care technology sector. Big data and analytics dominate the medical services landscape and when providers call in the cavalry, data scientists and coders will continue as big beneficiaries of the soaring health care services market. The following companies play major roles in providing solutions to medical facilities whose revenues grew at a compounded annual rate (CAGR) of 8.5% in the five-year period ending January 2017. The health care data analytics industry projects to expand at a rate of 27.1% through 2022, from $7.39 billion to $24.55 billion in the six-year measurement period.
When it comes to health care data analytics, the name of Epic Systems continually emerges as a market share leader across a few different business segments. The Madison, Wisconsin-based firm figures prominently in the EHR space in addition to business intelligence, care coordination, and health information exchanges, where it held 50% of the market through 2015.
The employee experience at Epic can be defined as… well, epic. Designed by the same firm that conceived Disneyland, the company’s campus contains buildings that draw on themes of forests, castles, and farms. Small meetings often take place in a treehouse. CEO Judy Faulkner’s team members who reach five-year milestones each get four weeks of paid vacation with an added twist. If the employee and a companion travel to a country in which they’ve never set foot, Epic pays for the trip.
Paysa reports the average tech salary at Epic at $81,000. Computer vision and imaging analysis engineers’ salaries begin at $101,000 with a $13,000 bonus paid to come aboard. Epic considers junior candidates who have 2-5 years of experience in areas such as integration, testing, and 3D programming while senior applicants need a minimum of 10-20 years expertise in their respective fields.
Cerner Corporation, the world’s largest publicly traded health information technology (HIT) company, employs about 24,000 people and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1979, the company came to develop a health record that readily transfers to any medical facility throughout the patient’s lifetime.
In 2016, Cerner controlled 24.6% of the acute care hospital EHR market. Small hospitals or those with 200 beds or less, turned to the HIT service provider based on the strength of its CommunityWorks platform. The system invites patients to take more ownership of their own health care and allows rural hospitals to shorten medical records processing times. One facility reported a seven-minute decrease in time spent on medical records per patient per visit.
Job opportunities at the company span the United States from Seattle, Washington to Brooklyn, New York. Paysa, a technology career analytics provider, reports that Seattle stands out among tech hubs as having the lowest cost of living at 41% of salary. The average annual salary at Cerner is $105,000, inclusive of annual equity and bonus compensation. The top quarter of salaries with bonuses exceed $117,000 while the bottom quarter hits $92,300 or less. Technical engagement leaders can expect to earn a base salary of $133,000 in Kansas City with a signing bonus of $17,000 and an annual bonus of $26,000 thrown in.
Since December 2016, Cerner’s company rank has improved from 122 to 117 according to Paysa, who applies that rank by measuring the flow of top talent between technology companies.
Launched in 1993 and employing more than 124,000, Optum, a business unit of United Health Care, maintains more than 150 locations globally and is based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Optum One predictive analytics technology serves over 138,000 U.S. health care providers and 80% of the top 25 domestic health plans utilize the HIT company’s payer analytics solutions.
Foster and Sullivan named Optum the top company for growth, innovation, and leadership in 2016, lauding the firm’s population health management solutions. Industry analyst Koustav Chatterjee said, “Optum provides superior connectivity and a HIPAA-compliant care coordination infrastructure that connects with all major care providers, regardless of their underlying technology platforms.” The company helped a Fortune 500 client achieve a 70% increase in closed care gaps while reducing another customer’s emergency room visits by 10%.
Principal master data management jobs fetch salaries of $211,000 with a $15,000 signing bonus in Irwindale, California. Paysa cost of living data shows average monthly homeowner expenses amount to $1,900 in Irwindale, about $100 higher than the national average. The company wants applicants who have experience with master data management (MDM) tools such as Informatica and SAP MDM. Candidates holding bachelor’s degrees more than double master’s degree recruits. Average annual salaries at Optum come in around $123,000, including equity and annual bonuses.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Premier Inc. maintains an alliance of 3,750 U.S. hospitals coupled with over 130,000 additional health care service providers. The health improvement organization specializes in managing costs for providers in the supply chain, safety, and labor segments. Premier leverages alliance membership to negotiate prices and rebates with pharmacy benefit managers and specialty drug manufacturers, passing those savings through to clients.
KLAS named Premier’s PremierConnect ERP solutions software suite as best in class for 2017. The PremierConnect Supply Chain cloud-based program monitors real-time data for the procurement and payment processes, enabling executives to trim costs associated with requisitioning, purchasing and accounts payable.
The majority of Premier’s jobs exist in Charlotte, North Carolina, which Paysa ranks as the tech hub with the third-lowest cost of living among all such cities in the United States. Further, Paysa places Charlotte sixth overall, a hair behind Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the metropolis whose living expenses consume the lowest percentage (49.7%) of residents’ salary. Premier hires senior data integration engineers in its neighboring Raleigh, North Carolina location at a starting base salary of $113,000, adding $32,000 in annual equity kicked off with an $11,000 bonus to sign on.
Continuing to improve the level of talent it acquires, Premier has climbed the Paysa CompanyRank ladder since February 2015. The firm ascended 229 spots on the scale, from 782 to 553, in the two-year period ending in February 2017.
The Bottom Line
The huge boom in health care data analytics spells a solid outlook for tech job seekers. With the market expected to triple in six years, HIT firms and large, health care service delivery systems alike now require analysts, programmers, and data scientists to improve operational efficiencies and control spending. Many of these opportunities exist in cities where salaries stretch further due to manageable living expenses. While the major software players dominate the market, numerous positions crop up among boutique firms that also merit investigation. Paysa.com remains a valuable resource to assess openings at nearly 200,000 technology firms across the United States. If you’ve already caught on with a particular company, Paysa offers a trove of data aimed at helping secure a promotion or a raise in a current position.