August 7, 2020 | 6-minute read (1076 words)
When you think of the healthcare industry, you may picture doctors and nurses buzzing through hospital hallways, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The back-office functions that keep the healthcare industry running 24/7 are a critical component to their success. Because many healthcare organizations don’t have the resources to keep all of those essential employees on staff, many have turned to outsourcing.
Case in point: A 2019 market study shows that the global healthcare outsourcing market is projected to reach $449.6 billion at a 12.3 percent compound annual growth rate by 2023. The increasing need for minimizing critical mistakes, reducing operating costs and delivering better services will drive market growth.
Typically, healthcare organizations outsource support functions, such as housekeeping, laundry services, food services and even supply chain management. However, many of them have begun to outsource more services to save time, office space and money. Today’s healthcare outsourcing sector handles a variety of functions ranging from data entry to medical claims processing to medical billing.
Here we’ve listed the operations that healthcare organizations should consider outsourcing, along with the benefits they will experience if they outsource.
Better HR Services
Outsourcing HR services can help you manage your human resources administration and benefits assistance. Your outsourced HR team can provide a better benefits package and health insurance at a reduced cost. They can also help you with services like the creation of employee manuals and handbooks, hiring and training employees, and more — plus, they’ll save the cost of hiring an in-house HR team. They often offer software for easy access to crucial information for you and your employees.
Efficient Payroll Management
The cost of highly-skilled, full-time payroll staff can be exponentially higher than the cost of working with an outsourcing company. Outsourcing payroll management services can provide timely, accurate payments to your employees. Your outsourced team can also offer payroll software that allows you to enter, screen, check and send your payroll information for processing.
The global healthcare IT outsourcing market is forecast to reach $61.2 billion by 2023, according to a report by Transparency Market Research. IT administration is the most outsourced area in the healthcare industry due to the rise in demand for electronic billing and payment systems, maintaining electronic health records and implementing cloud computing.
Effective Data Collection and Analysis
Outsourcing provides you with the most up-to-date technology for data collection and analysis without investing in extra capital. Several healthcare organizations have already outsourced their data entry tasks to increase their efficiency and productivity. However, with rising customer demands for quality services, firms have started outsourcing data management processes for clinical research, billing, health outcomes and more. Outsourcing can provide you access to healthcare professionals who are experts in handling various types of data.
Error-Free Medical Billing
Hospitals and healthcare professionals process hundreds of medical records every day. However, unlike other industries, medical coding and billing can be complicated. Without the right knowledge and expertise, you could face costly billing errors in processing your patient medical bills. Outsourcing your medical billing services can provide you with a specially-trained team to deal with these records. In addition, creating medical bills requires you to follow certain standards and rules, which the outsourcing company can handle well. Outsourcing the job to an expert service provider can help you prevent any coding and billing hiccups.
Medical Claims Processing
Processing patient claims is a critical healthcare activity. By working with an outsourced medical claims processing team, you can stay up to date with the latest changes in regulation to provide accurate medical claims to insurers. Since they’re professionals, the outsourced teams are already well-equipped with the necessary resources to do the job accurately and efficiently. They have skilled work forces and technologies to process large volumes of medical claims seamlessly.
Data Entry Services
In addition to treating patients, healthcare providers have to capture and update large volumes of medical data every day. They need to manage information like lab reports, prescriptions, patient insurance details, patient records and medical information. Outsourcing data entry activities will help you free up your time and resources for other core healthcare activities. Medical data entry can be far more technical than most other fields, so you need a professional to handle it for you. The right outsourcing team will ensure that your organization meets all guidelines, rules and regulations related to the healthcare industry. They can also manage your patients’ appointments, reminders and rescheduling to streamline patient assistance.
Clinical and Patient Care Services
The industry has recently seen growth in outsourcing clinical services, such as diagnostic imaging and patient care services like therapy and pharmacy. Many organizations outsource these services because it extends the ability of the hospital to provide full services without making the substantial investments necessary to upgrade in-house equipment and hire specialty healthcare professionals in a particular specialty area.
Hospital Infrastructure Management
Outsourcing infrastructure management services like equipment planning, procurement and maintenance, waste management, pest control, sterilization, cleaning services, patient transport and security can allow you to focus on patient treatment and care.
Benefits of Outsourcing in Healthcare
Patient experiences can be vastly improved across the board if you use outsourced staff, from check-in to diagnosis to recovery to discharge. Many healthcare providers are seeking outsourced solutions as a way to ease financial constraints and free up resources while maintaining quality service and patient care across a heavily-regulated industry. Outsourcing can help healthcare providers in the following ways:
- Provide access to trained professionals and industry experts at a lower cost
- Maximize staff efficiency and productivity
- Improve patient care, experiences and outcomes
- Avoid critical and costly billing issues
- Provide employees access to better benefits at a lower cost
- Scale resources based on specific needs
- Ensure compliance with all applicable laws
- Focus on providing quality care to patients
- Manage routine and mundane administrative tasks
- Increase cost savings
- Save time and money from hiring and training support staff
- Protect patient data while complying with HIPAA regulations
- Reduce the number of denied and rejected medical claims.
- Drive error-free processes
Apart from cost savings, outsourcing provides you access to a professionally qualified and experienced workforce that can help you accomplish your various clinical responsibilities and other related tasks accurately and efficiently. To be ahead of your competitors and meet the growing demands of the healthcare industry, you should consider outsourcing the above functions to professionals trained to meet medical industry standards.