From Paperwork to Patients: Outsourcing Administrative Solutions for Phoenix Medical Staff

Healthcare in Phoenix has seen significant shifts. Leaders grapple with access, quality, and costs. VAs from local providers ease administrative burdens, allowing focus on patient care, cost reduction, and talent management. Outsourcing enhances healthcare administration.
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The healthcare industry in Phoenix, Arizona, has experienced immense change over the past few years. Political and industry leaders in the Valley of the Sun have faced various issues that affect the medical services’ access, quality, and costs. Hiring virtual assistants in Phoenix can help solve these challenges. 

Leveraging outsourced administrative solutions from Phoenix-based providers with nearshore or offshore operations frees up medical staff’s time. Doctors and other clinicians can then focus on patients, minimize back-end costs, and address the talent shortage. 

Read until the end to discover how outsourcing boosts healthcare administrative functions.

The Challenges in Arizona Healthcare

The Challenges in Arizona Healthcare

Healthcare executives in Phoenix face tremendous challenges that prevent them from offering quality patient care. Some are unprecedented, while others are predictable. However, they all stem from the increasing pressure to improve the bottom line. The unending need to control medical costs has taken on new urgency.

Hospital leaders can overcome these roadblocks by hiring BPO healthcare services. As a result of applying cost-efficient and effective third-party administrative solutions, Phoenix medical staff can manage and even reduce costs while improving care quality.

Here is a quick look at the challenges befalling the Phoenix healthcare landscape today.

Financial Challenges

According to the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA), labor costs and inflation have put immense financial strain on local medical facilities. The AzHHA Quarterly Financial Analysis looked into the finances of 21 member hospitals during the first and second quarters of 2022. The figures were compared against the 2021 numbers to achieve a full landscape view.

Based on the data, the net operating margins of hospitals decreased from 4.6% on average in 2021 to 0.5% during the first quarter of 2022. The number fell lower in the second quarter of 2022 to -8.7%.

Extreme inflation in the supply and labor markets drove these numbers. Contract labor increased by 170% during the first quarter of 2022. Meanwhile, the second quarter saw an increase of 231% compared to the previous year.

Despite the rising numbers, hospitals did not waver from their commitment to providing high-quality care and essential public health services.

Increasing Demand for Medical Services

The healthcare sector in Phoenix is critical to Arizona’s economy. The Common Sense Institute (CSI) assessed the industry’s impact and found that it will continue growing in the following years.

The medical sector is the most significant single sector across Arizona. CSI’s Research Director, Glenn Farley stated that the healthcare industry is around 10%–20% of the state’s economy

According to the data gathered, the industry will develop significantly—roughly 50% faster—than the overall state’s economy in the next 10 years or more. CSI expects healthcare in Phoenix to grow at a 3% annual rate, while the economic growth rate in Arizona is 2%–2.5% per year. 

The institute also mentioned that healthcare is expected to continue its fast upward trend despite potential slowdowns. This projection indicates increased demand for medical services, which could lead to more strain in the back office. Hence, outsourced administrative solutions can significantly benefit Phoenix medical staff.

Aging Demographic

Demographics are a major factor behind healthcare’s expected growth. Older individuals need more medical services. Phoenix also has a reputation for being a top destination for retirees.

The city has a large population of citizens aged 65 and older. This age group will grow faster than others because the United States is witnessing an ongoing demographic transition. However, this development may pose challenges for the healthcare industry.

The medical sector must find a way to grow alongside demand to keep costs at bay and deliver high-quality healthcare. Healthcare process outsourcing can help ensure growth is consistent with demand.

Hospitals cannot quickly scale up the workforce if they encounter a rapid increase in demand. Healthcare workers need sufficient education, licensing, and on-the-job training. These requirements limit the pipeline for hiring new workers. Addressing growing administrative expenses is also crucial to sustainable growth.

How Outsourcing Administrative Healthcare Solutions Can Help

How Outsourcing Administrative Healthcare Solutions Can Helpv

Healthcare business process outsourcing (BPO) involves subcontracting non-clinical functions to external service providers. It is a well-established strategy that empowers hospitals of all sizes.

The BPO industry successfully ventured into new domains by taking advantage of business gaps and diversifying its reach past legacy sectors with in-person service delivery. The medical industry is one such sector that has warmly embraced third-party services.

Outsourcing is essential in helping the medical industry overcome challenges in finding the right talent for each administrative area. As health organizations bring in added resources to manage admin functions, they can focus more on providing better service.

Outsourced administrative solutions can help hospitals alleviate the burden and streamline the workflow for Phoenix medical staff. Moreover, this strategy saves on overhead costs associated with recruiting and facilitating staff and allocating resources.

Here are the different ways outsourced administrative solutions can help.

Cost-saving Business Operations

The need for cost-saving measures in administrative healthcare operations is one of the main drivers behind the increasing popularity of outsourcing. Various financial challenges, such as advanced technological adoption and rising medical equipment costs, weigh hospitals down. 

Outsourcing administrative duties allows hospitals to reduce costs and align growth with demand. This strategy also lets medical providers access skilled professionals at a lower price than hiring an in-house team. 

Some BPO providers have operations in regions with lower labor costs, such as Mexico and the Philippines, allowing them to benefit from salary differentials and exchange rates. Hospitals can then invest the cost savings in the latest technologies, diversifying healthcare services and improving patient care.

Moreover, BPO providers offer operational efficiency and optimized processes. They streamline various administrative solutions for Phoenix medical staff, from medical coding and billing to claims processing, revenue cycle management, and more. They also allow medical providers to allocate their attention and resources to core functions such as research, innovation, and patient care.

Advanced BPO Services and Solutions

Vital developments in healthcare BPO services are another compelling reason behind the popularity of outsourcing in the medical industry. These services utilize innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to enhance service delivery.

AI integration has transformed BPO solutions, offering intelligent automation tools that allow medical organizations to improve accuracy and operational efficiency. AI-powered solutions, such as machine learning (ML) algorithms and natural language processing (NLP), enable BPO firms to automate recurring tasks, process large amounts of data, and generate meaningful insights.

AI also enables BPO providers to offer sophisticated services for clinical documentation, claims processing, medical coding, and data analysis. AI-enabled services minimize errors and accelerate task completion, leading to faster claims reimbursements and better operational performance. AI also continuously learns and adapts to enable process improvements.

Moreover, healthcare BPO services have expanded from traditional back-office functions to more specialized areas such as medical transcription, remote patient monitoring, telemedicine support, and analytics. BPO companies use their advanced technological capabilities to offer comprehensive services to support medical staff.

The continuous improvements in BPO solutions, powered by AI and other emerging technologies, give healthcare organizations new opportunities to optimize their administrative solutions for Phoenix medical staff. Embracing such advancements through outsourcing helps hospitals keep up with innovation and enable sustainable growth in a changing and demanding landscape.

Guaranteed HIPAA Compliance

A significant advantage of outsourced healthcare admin services is guaranteed compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA sets stringent regulations for protecting patient health information and ensuring data privacy. Working with a reputable BPO firm allows hospitals to benefit from their knowledge of HIPAA rules.

BPO providers specializing in medical admin services deeply understand HIPAA requirements and use robust processes and systems to ensure compliance. They implement strict security measures, such as access controls, data transmission protocols, and encryption, to safeguard confidential patient data.

These vendors also perform frequent assessments and audits to detect and address potential vulnerabilities, mitigating the risk of data breaches and guaranteeing ongoing compliance.

Outsourcing healthcare administrative functions to HIPAA-compliant service providers adds an extra layer of assurance for hospitals. Doing so lets them mitigate the risks and complexities of maintaining compliance in-house. It also allows medical providers in Phoenix to focus on delivering quality care while delegating the security of patient information to professionals.

Lastly, BPO companies that follow HIPAA regulations also ensure that their staff undergo proper data security and privacy training. This qualification ensures that all employees managing medical data understand HIPAA requirements and comply with stringent regulations to maintain confidentiality.

Better Patient Care

Although healthcare is a business, the patient must always be at the center of the discussion. Outsourcing administrative solutions for your Phoenix medical staff enhances patient outcomes and provides higher-quality care.

Helping clinical staff with repetitive administrative work frees up their time to concentrate on patient care, enhances their morale, and improves their physical and mental well-being. These factors are crucial because medical professionals are prone to fatigue and stress.

Outsourcing healthcare processes to BPO firms does not mean losing or giving up control. It only means changing the ‘where and how.’

Outsourced medical administrative functions allow in-house teams to eliminate time-consuming and recurring back-end tasks. Doing so lets them put more energy and attention into providing exceptional clinical care and achieving patient satisfaction.

Wider Talent Pool

A lot has been said about the skills shortage in the past few years. Social phenomena such as Quiet Quitting and The Great Resignation are putting heightened pressure on healthcare administrators to augment staff, whether permanently or temporarily.

Outsourcing administrative solutions allows Phoenix medical staff to partner with a worldwide talent pool of expert professionals with locally unavailable skill sets. 

For instance, the high demand for admin and medical professionals in Phoenix has made it almost impossible to fill vacancies. Healthcare outsourcing provides the dual benefits of low costs and a better talent supply.

Turning to offshore talent for expertise and support allows hospitals and healthcare organizations to pride themselves on having skilled, experienced, qualified, and hard-working staff ready to deliver.

Increased Budget Allocation

Medical billing outsourcing providers are statutorily affiliated and licensed with several important associations, such as:

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Healthcare Business Management Association (HBMA)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA)

These affiliations help service providers and client companies build mutual trust, assuring healthcare organizations that they are properly handling their growth metrics.

Service providers can use clean claim filing and structured processes to boost reimbursement rates, ensuring healthcare organizations receive compensation. This approach lets physicians concentrate on their primary role of caring for patients. 

Outsourcing amplifies the efficiency of claims reimbursement, increasing hospitals’ budgets and allowing them to invest in technologies and areas of improvement. Outsourced administrative solutions also boost the productivity of the onshore Phoenix medical staff team since they can better focus on designing business strategies and planning patient care enhancements. 

Although outsourcing may pose challenges that undermine delegated operations, the benefits outweigh the risks. It will take time to find the right BPO partner, with various factors to be considered before outsourcing the administrative tasks and other related functions.

Robust Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure

Medical facilities have complex IT needs, ranging from securing patient safety and maintaining electronic records to overseeing food and nutrition services effectively. Outsourcing healthcare administrative solutions and IT support can help Phoenix medical staff with the following:

  • Scalable services that grow or shrink along with the hospital’s needs
  • Improved cybersecurity for patient records and data
  • Quick access to highly trained and skilled workers
  • Reduced costs related to managing electronic health records (EHR) servers and data centers

IT in the healthcare industry changes at a rapid pace. In-house teams of small and midsize facilities may find it extremely challenging to keep up with the ever-changing technologies required to store records, manage data, and oversee ongoing operations. 

Adjusting established processes or upgrading to a new system to meet new demands and compliance regulations can be especially difficult, expensive, and cumbersome for a small team. 

By partnering with an outsourcing firm in Phoenix, you can leave your IT systems to professionals specializing exclusively in medicine-related technology.

Areas Where Healthcare Outsourcing Can Alleviate Administrative Burdens

Areas Where Healthcare Outsourcing Can Alleviate Administrative Burdens

A medical provider’s primary concern should be diagnosing, caring for, and treating patients. It should not be spending too much time on administrative functions that can be outsourced to third-party professionals. Outsourced administrative solutions can be significantly advantageous in helping Phoenix medical staff deliver quality patient care and enhance patient satisfaction.

Outsourcing non-clinical tasks may seem overwhelming and risky to hospitals that manage everything in-house. Running a practice and outsourcing is a balancing act. Healthcare organizations must weigh the pros and cons, follow best practices for outsourcing, and start small.  

Here are examples of administrative tasks to outsource:

  • Administration and data entry. Assign essential tasks for business functionality, such as claims processing, patient scheduling, and medical transcription, to improve productivity. That way, internal teams can concentrate on the most critical tasks while ensuring all admin functions are documented and well-organized.
  • Medical coding and transcription. Medical coders convert critical healthcare documents into uniform medical codes to streamline insurance-related tasks. Moreover, medical transcribers turn voice recordings from doctors and physicians into written documents, saving them time. 
  • Medical billing. BPO providers in the medical industry handle patients’ insurance details and file claims with insurers. They pursue and collect payments from insurance providers and patients to enhance the revenue stream.
  • Prior authorization. A preauthorization expert helps patients who need treatment that requires insurance carrier preauthorization. They coordinate with patients to assess their medication requirements and relay with insurance providers and nurse managers for approval of prior authorization.
  • Denial management and insurance collection. This function involves many tasks throughout the billing cycle, such as preparing, reviewing, and transmitting claims using billing software. It also involves obtaining preauthorizations and referrals as needed for procedures. Lastly, workers follow up on unpaid claims within the standard cycle.
  • Remote patient care monitoring. This process provides real-time medical information to healthcare providers to enhance patient outcomes. Specialists in this role offer high-quality services and compassionate, comprehensive care. They help ensure that medical providers meet patients’ needs in a comforting and safe place.
  • Patient support. This role is responsible for communicating with patients to assist them with questions about insurance and the cost of procedures. It also aims to help them understand healthcare services. Support agents may connect patients with specialists and doctors, discuss financial obligations, and review treatment options.

The Bottom Line

With the wide variety of trained third-party workers, healthcare organizations in Phoenix can solve their operational challenges and meet their demand for skilled staff at a lower cost. Outsourcing is a compelling economic business strategy for medical firms struggling with operating expenses.

Moreover, hospitals in Phoenix can focus on improving their patient care services without allocating resources and time to in-house administrative support. Focusing on the quality of patient care leads to a better bottom line.

At Unity Communications, we prioritize quality. Partnering with us gives you an expert virtual assistant skilled in providing administrative solutions to unlock your Phoenix medical staff’s full potential. Let’s connect to find out how!

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Allie Delos Santos is an experienced content writer who graduated cum laude with a degree in mass communications. She specializes in writing blog posts and feature articles. Her passion is making drab blog articles sparkle. Allie is an avid reader—with a strong interest in magical realism and contemporary fiction. When she is not working, she enjoys yoga and cooking.
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Allie Delos Santos

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