Healthcare Trends Shaping 2021

2020 brought many challenges with it but also helped set in motion a new wave of trends in healthcare. Had it not been for the pandemic, many of these trends may have taken years to materialize. While last year caused major disruption for payers, it was also an opportunity to adapt and discover new solutions. As we look ahead to 2021, many things are still hazy, but one thing is clear: advancements in technology will continue to reshape the healthcare industry for payers. Here are the top trends for 2021:


As more people needed to forego in-person doctor appointments, providers pivoted to a new care alternative: telehealth. This technology has saved many practices from going out of business. It’s offered a way for patients to get the care they need while social distancing. Telehealth has been particularly successful in reducing costs associated with the areas of diagnostics and follow-ups.

In 2021, telehealth will see further growth with more providers adopting and leveraging it to their advantage. Healthcare payments and revenue cycle technology will likely be integrated into telehealth software. This will ultimately become cheaper for payers and less intrusive for patients.

Contactless Payments

With COVID-19 still lingering, many payers are assisting providers by offering contactless payment options, ditching paper checks for electronic payments. People continue to look to minimize in-person office and bank visits these days. With electronic payments such as Zelis ACH, payers can limit exposure risk for their providers and get claims settled weeks faster than mailed checks. Having access to funds faster will be a lifeline to struggling providers who have been impacted by the decrease in patient volume.

The Zelis self-service web portal, DOCs®, enables payers to customize designs and messaging securely anywhere, anytime. This enhanced functionality helps payers migrate from transactional to episodic claims communications.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence will continue to advance in 2021, especially in the fight against healthcare payments fraud. This criminal activity has been on the rise as individuals attempt to profit during the pandemic. Last year alone, security breaches cost healthcare companies $6 trillion. AI is helping to strengthen fraud prevention and detection. Zelis ensures payer data is protected with the highest levels in safeguards.

As we start the new year, things are starting to look more optimistic. After a chaotic 2020, the promise of widespread vaccine distribution has many payers feeling hopeful. New technologies are helping them adapt to an ever-changing environment. Telehealth, contactless payments and artificial intelligence will have a major impact moving forward. There’s never been a better time to start exploring these trends. Streamline your operations today with Zelis. Call 888-311-3505 or visit to learn more.