The ConnXion – Volume 1, Issue 8
With any new technology, there always comes a level of uncertainty. Whether it will prove beneficial or not, whether it will change the market entirely or fade into obscurity, are all important factors to keep in mind when approaching newly developed technology, no matter how widely advertised it is. Today more than ever, that is true of AI tools.
At this year’s HCAA conference, WLT had the opportunity to hear a good deal about AI — more specifically, the increasingly pervasive ChatGPT. The language-based model chatbot developed by OpenAI has been the subject of many conversations since its release toward the end of 2022, and the buzz doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. Conference attendee and CEO of Co:Helm, Abdel Mahmoud, outlined the current state of AI technology:
“In the rapidly evolving landscape of AI technology, ChatGPT has undeniably carved a niche in streamlining administrative tasks and enhancing efficiency in the healthcare system. However, with great potential comes great responsibility. As we embrace the unparalleled speed and simplicity AI offers, it’s crucial to maintain a vigilant stance on privacy and accuracy. For while technology can assist and elevate, true excellence in healthcare remains rooted in trust, precision, and the unwavering commitment to patient and member welfare.”
- Abdel Mahmoud, MD | CEO Co:Helm,
(partner of Microsoft, Google AI, Open AI, and Sequoia)
The advantages offered by ChatGPT are undeniable, but it’s important to keep an eye on the downsides. For example, a resounding issue stressed at the conference was the need to put guardrails into place to ensure that patient privacy is not compromised.
One thing is for sure: AI is not going anywhere anytime soon, and that likely extends to ChatGPT. To help provide you with a clearer perspective, we’ve rounded up the top pros and cons of ChatGPT and its uses in the healthcare industry.
Pro: Speed and Efficiency
In any industry, keeping up with the rapid pace of business is essential. ChatGPT can prove a useful tool for cutting the time spent on tasks down, allowing that time to be put toward other important matters. For example, instead of giving hours of research toward a task, ChatGPT allows you to save yourself the headache by providing quick, digestible information about the topic. It also generates text much faster than manual writing could, providing high-level writing in minutes that would otherwise have taken hours.1
Con: Limited Accuracy
Just as it’s wise not to believe anything you read online, fully trusting AI to provide accurate answers is unwise—especially when a majority of those answers have been drawn from sources you cannot see. A simple mistake or two in spelling might be easy to move past, but if the mistake results in a HIPAA violation, it’s going to be considerably less easy to fix. Additionally, ChatGPT lacks the context of knowing a business personally. It has no way of understanding company values unless you spell them out, and even then, it lacks the personal touch to convey what makes your business unique.
Pro: Easy to Use
When it comes to ease of use, ChatGPT lives up to its name. Using the AI tool is as simple as chatting with an incredibly responsive and internet-experienced employee—simply ask it a question, and you’re promptly provided with an answer. It also eliminates the headache of translating high-level research and technical jargon, as you can specify that you’d like your answer in terms that are simple to understand.
Con: Privacy Risks
The classic stories of AI gone rogue are popular in media for good reason. While the risk of ChatGPT developing into anything seen in the movies is highly unlikely, the risk of ChatGPT leaking information you’d rather keep private across the web is less so. A major concern of the tool stems from personal data such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and more, which are all transmitted during the process. While there are safeguards, ChatGPT does expose information to a third party, relinquishing control of how data is used and stored. This poses a risk of compliance violations, among breaches of customer privacy and confidentiality.2
At WLT, steadfast service is our motto. With more than four decades of enjoying our clients’ trust, it is vital that we live up to that faith. That’s why we make it a priority to stay on top of the latest developments and keep you informed. WLT recently had the privilege of learning from industry expert Ernie Clevenger’s insights on ChatGPT.
“ChatGPT has a bright future because smart people will take advantage of its strengths and place guardrails around the weaknesses. I expect we will first use ChatGPT with employees of our self-funded clients. Virtual Medical Assistants will evolve into sophisticated tools capable of understanding and responding to employees’ plan and medical queries in the first language of the employee. (Spanish, English, etc.) Think more of a conversation than pop-ups on a screen. These assistants will provide information about plan design, available providers, personal cost, medical and treatment descriptions, and more. Remote Monitoring and Follow-up will assist remote employee/patients monitoring by asking about their symptoms, medication adherence, and overall well-being. It could then relay this information to healthcare providers, TPAs and others in the health benefits continuum. Along the way, employee feedback (written and emotions detected) will help ChatGPT learn how better to respond with caring, informed, and helpful responses.”
- Ernie Clevenger, President, MyHealthGuide, LLC
Whether industry changes have to do with claims software or the healthcare industry as a whole, WLT keeps a close eye out—this is especially true when it comes to compliance. With regulations changing each day, ChatGPT can prove a useful tool, if not an entirely accurate one.
Just as accuracy is vital to have if you’re a doctor or surgeon, accuracy in the healthcare insurance industry can make or break a business. So, while ChatGPT might be a useful tool for finding answers in a pinch, we would recommend against putting your full faith in it—at least, not without a full review of the product yourself before you let it leave your desk.
Wherever AI goes next, WLT plans to keep a close eye on it in order to continue delivering you superior service. But in the meantime, you can rest assured knowing that we continue to make our systems easy to use, accurate, and cost-effective for your benefit.