Written by Joyce Ann Danieles
Every day, patients flood hospitals for reasons ranging from a simple fever to serious illness. Afterward, medical staff may encounter massive back-office workloads such as endless bills and claim requests. These repetitive tasks tend to take focus away from providing quality care.
Many medical care providers rely on business process outsourcing (BPO) to resolve such issues. BPO helps streamline providers’ non-core functions and ensure they give superb health services.
This article details everything you need to know about financial healthcare BPO. It also discusses the advantages hospitals get from outsourcing their healthcare financing.
What Is Healthcare Finance Outsourcing?
Healthcare finance outsourcing is when hospitals hire third-party companies to handle their daily financial processes. Medical providers of all sizes outsource such functions to do two things: cut costs and prioritize growth.
Despite the importance of finance departments for budget allocations, they do not directly increase sales or revenue. So you cannot guarantee returns by spending more on labor, infrastructure, and real estate to maintain this department.
BPO companies help medical institutions save money by taking care of financial processes on their behalf. Their services are often paid through a contract or ‘pay as you go’ scheme, as agreed with the client.
Giving this non-primary job to a third party means in-house medical workers spend less time on paperwork. They gain the confidence to focus on providing excellent patient care and improving health services.
Types of Financial Services to Outsource
Medical institutions adopt different kinds of healthcare BPO services. They conduct a needs assessment to determine which clinical or non-clinical tasks to delegate to a provider. But when outsourcing healthcare financing, the following functions typically go to third-party teams:
- Medical billing refers to organizing medical costs, sending invoices, and collecting payments from patients and their insurers. This practice comes after a patient receives or undergoes health services such as checkups, treatments, and lab tests.
- Claims processing means evaluating and verifying patient claims requests for data accuracy, justification, and authenticity. This function helps insurance companies identify whether to reimburse money partially or wholly to healthcare providers.
- Payroll management involves processing compensation, benefits, taxes, and withholdings for medical employees.
- Bookkeeping involves recording the daily financial transactions of hospitals. Transactions include medical invoices, claim requests and payments.
How Does Healthcare Finance Outsourcing Benefit Hospitals?
As healthcare needs constantly evolve, hospitals must deal with growing back-office backlogs. Patients often see healthcare professionals for checkups, consultations, and treatments.
Healthcare organizations have such heavy workloads, and prioritizing critical products and services is sometimes difficult. A third-party service provider helps address this problem by streamlining tedious finance-related tasks. Expect to experience the following advantages of healthcare BPO when you sign a contract with a service provider.
Ensure Cost Savings
Establishing an in-house financial department demands considerable upfront capital. You must set aside funding for workforce recruitment, training, and retention efforts. You also need modern technology and a comfortable workplace to support your employees.
Financial services are non-revenue-generating functions. They indirectly contribute to enhancing healthcare quality. But they are vital in keeping your healthcare business up and running.
BPO companies help you save on labor, infrastructure, and real estate expenses. They already have well-trained employees and use high-tech systems to handle your finances quickly and efficiently. You no longer need dedicated office space because most providers let their staff work remotely or in their facilities.
Moreover, signing a long-term contract with a BPO partner and paying for their services monthly help cut costs. You also have the option to pay only for specific financial services based on your seasonal requirements.
Employ Skilled Professionals
Healthcare finance is a non-revenue function. Despite that, you still need expert employees with regular training to keep accounting records in order. You can add more workers or assign the function to an in-house staff member who handles other tasks. But this can lead to delays, inefficiencies, and expenses.
The healthcare BPO industry offers cost-effective access to a skilled workforce. Because these third-party service teams specialize in finance, they do their jobs swiftly and accurately. They understand the complicated rules of financial services and follow the strict security measures that go along with them.
These financial experts regularly get training, skills development, and certification to meet your needs and expectations. Thus, you can focus on improving your primary medical services and offerings.
Optimize Advanced Software Tools
You need niche equipment and up-to-date technology to help streamline your financial operations. Advanced workstations, modern software solutions, and fast internet connectivity are necessary. Such resources boost your daily productivity.
But as with hiring skilled employees, buying such infrastructure requires considerable funds. Equipment demands extra dollars for maintenance, modernization, and repair. All in all, these investments are costly and not ideal for a non-revenue-generating business process.
Save money on new systems and related functions by outsourcing healthcare financing. Artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and cloud computing are tools BPO companies use to speed up repetitive, time-consuming financial tasks. Maximize these technologies through a fixed service agreement.
In a Cynerio 2022 report, 53% of hospitals’ connected medical devices are at risk because of a known critical vulnerability. Cynerio also found that security threats related to the internet of things (IoT) technology remained unresolved despite organizations spending more money on healthcare cybersecurity.
Medical providers face security risks despite digital transformation. Weak security measures lead to high threat mitigation expenses and patient distrust. Worst of all, it leads to sensitive medical records being at risk of exposure to various cyber threats.
You can set up a separate in-house unit to monitor your financial data and infrastructure. Putting strict security measures in place is also easier if in-house team leaders can remind members of their duties and responsibilities. But deploying sophisticated security software and hiring staff are costly endeavors.
When outsourcing healthcare financing, information and system protection can increase threefold and at a lower cost. A trusted BPO provider follows stringent policies and procedures to safeguard your financial records.
Along with robust security software, the vendor also implements measures, including:
- Password and multifactor authentication
- Authorized firewall control
- Antivirus scanning and mitigation
- Data backup and recovery
- Biometrics and face recognition
- Compliance review and analysis
- Network monitoring
- Encryption and patching
- Virtual private network
Enable Emphasis on Core Functions
Primary services drive the growth of your medical business. These offerings include healthcare services such as diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. The quality of your core service directly affects your business income, patient trust, and reputation.
But because you have more financial tasks every day, figuring out what to prioritize to provide the best patient experience becomes challenging. Outsourcing your healthcare financing allows you to focus on what matters. Third-party service providers are competent and knowledgeable; you can trust them to handle your regular financial tasks.
Increase Productivity and Efficiency
Project delays potentially increase operating costs and reduce your competitiveness. Delays in your back-office tasks block your progress toward achieving your core objectives. Although these repetitive tasks indirectly affect your revenue, they can also hinder your enterprise growth.
A competent BPO partner helps you streamline time-consuming financial tasks. Third-party contractors undergo frequent training to manage repetitive activities efficiently. They also use high-tech solutions to accomplish their work faster.
Expect a boost in your daily productivity after adopting medical BPO services. Outsourcing gives your in-house team more time to complete their most critical projects. This approach eliminates the need to take extra shifts and avoids overwork. It also helps maintain your team’s consistently excellent performance in delivering high-quality patient care.
Improve Scalability and Flexibility
Hospitals are always changing their products and services to match the needs of patients and the market. Modern solutions speed up clinical and non-clinical processes, but medical institutions struggle to keep up with the latest trends.
Outsourcing healthcare financing helps ease heavy workloads using a flexible workforce and infrastructure. BPO companies support your need to expand operations and provide extra manpower during peak season.
Ultimately, third-party service providers make the necessary adjustments to meet your daily quota, enterprise goals, and expectations. They grow and evolve with you, updating their operating strategies and upgrading infrastructure to streamline your time-consuming financial functions.
Meet Compliance Requirements
Following financial policies and procedures ensures you comply with industry and government regulations. This helps you maintain your reputation in the market and gain patients’ trust. But when you are already busy improving healthcare delivery, you cannot monitor compliance status comprehensively.
Contractors address such gaps by monitoring and enhancing your industry and government compliance. They conduct timely compliance audits to identify areas requiring immediate attention and improvement.
The audit findings validate the strengths and weaknesses of your compliance programs. You can also use the results to rethink your security policies and user controls for financial data systems. Only by ensuring 100% compliance can you avoid the high cost of sanctions and violation fees.
The Bottom Line
Every healthcare organization welcomes multiple patients daily, whether they are visiting for minor accidents or chronic diseases. Organizations can reach full capacity very quickly when illnesses are prevalent or in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Their in-house staff struggles when they have to handle back-office functions, such as financial processes, on top of healthcare delivery.
BPO has become a go-to hub for streamlined healthcare financing services. But before you sign with a provider, you must first understand how the practice improves patient care. An in-depth knowledge of your outsourcing needs helps you develop a concrete investment plan.
Do you want to uplift your back-office financial tasks? Unity Communications is always available when you want to start outsourcing. The Inc. 5000 company has the best healthcare BPO solutions to help you finish your financial tasks quickly and easily.