Although automated workflows implemented during the pandemic increased efficiency, staffing challenges and greater health care use contributed to overall higher year-over-year administrative spending.

“Over the past 10 years, despite a rapidly changing health care landscape, payers and providers have made dramatic gains automating transactions and reducing the cost of business processes,” says April Todd, chief policy and research officer for CAQH. “Our latest report shows that this trend toward greater efficiency continued last year, even though post-pandemic factors increased total spending.”

The latest report found that the U.S. health care system spent $60 billion conducting nine common administrative transactions — an increase of roughly $18 billion over the previous year. Of this amount, the industry can save nearly $25 billion (or 41%) by transitioning to fully electronic transactions. This would be in addition to the $187 billion that health plans and providers are saving annually today because of previous automation efforts.

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