How Can Phoenix Medical Organizations Stay Agile in a Changing Healthcare Landscape?

Phoenix healthcare is booming but competitive. Medical groups struggle to keep up. Outsourcing back-end tasks to BPOs can streamline operations, cut costs, and improve patient care, giving them an edge in this thriving market. Read more for details.
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Medical organizations struggle to stay agile and prosper in the Phoenix healthcare landscape. Agility contributes to streamlined operations, reduced costs, and enhanced patient care. Business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in Phoenix offer a viable solution. By leveraging overseas operations, they can cost-effectively handle the back-end functions of healthcare organizations to boost their competitiveness.  This article explores the factors that make the Phoenix healthcare industry dynamic, its challenges, and the importance of agility to survive and thrive in this competitive market. It also discusses how outsourcing can help medical providers meet market challenges and needs.  Continue reading.

The Broad and Dynamic Phoenix Healthcare Landscape

The Broad and Dynamic Phoenix Healthcare Landscape The Phoenix healthcare landscape is constantly expanding. Population growth, technological advancement, and the regulatory environment are dynamic factors shaping the local industry.

Growing Population 

Phoenix’s population has grown over the past 10 years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Phoenix metro area’s population increased from 4.2 million in 2010 to 4.8 million in 2020. The population has also aged, with individuals under 18 decreasing to 23.5% while those 65 and over increased to 16.6%. This uptrend presents medical organizations with opportunities and problems. New residents and an aging population translate to higher demand for healthcare services. However, the rapid increase in patient numbers might strain the industry’s infrastructure and resources.

Technological Advancement

Over the years, the Valley has seen the establishment of prominent healthcare providers and medical academic institutes (e.g., Mayo Clinic, Barrow Neurological Institute, University of Arizona College of Medicine, and Banner Health). The local government has also declared Park Central and Midtown Phoenix bioscience hubs, attracting more organizations. Additionally, the Phoenix healthcare landscape has adopted the latest technologies. The city’s hospitals, clinics, and medical institutions leverage electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine platforms, robotic-assisted surgery systems, data analytics tools, and other innovations. These advancements have enhanced patient care, healthcare operations, and diagnostic and treatment capabilities. Patients in Phoenix now have better access to modern treatments and diagnostic techniques, improving overall care quality and results.

Regulatory Environment

Both federal and state regulations impact the Phoenix healthcare landscape. Local providers must navigate various ordinances for compliance while delivering exceptional patient care.  The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has considerable influence at the federal level. It changed healthcare coverage, insurance exchanges, and reimbursement mechanisms. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) also governs patient privacy. Local laws regulate the Phoenix healthcare landscape at the state level. Arizona’s Medicaid expansion under the ACA has extended coverage, affecting payment rates and Medicaid services. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) oversees healthcare institutions and ensures state policies are followed. The Arizona Medical Board also regulates medical licensure and professional standards for medical providers.

Challenges in the Phoenix Healthcare Landscape

Challenges in the Phoenix Healthcare Landscape The following challenges affect the Phoenix healthcare landscape, including medical providers and patients. 

Existing Healthcare Disparities

No different from other major cities, Phoenix experiences healthcare disparities brought about by socioeconomic factors such as race, ethnicity, and geography. Uneven access to medical services, differences in health outcomes, and variances in the treatment quality obtained all contribute to these disparities. In particular, low-income communities and minority populations, especially in rural areas, often face barriers to healthcare access, resulting in delayed or inadequate care. In 2020 and 2021, the top three leading causes of death among Arizonans of any background aged 65 and above were heart disease, cancer, and COVID-19. Medical institutions in Phoenix must aim to eradicate inequities in treatment via focused outreach, community activities, and an emphasis on marginalized populations.

Competitive Market

With a fast-rising population and many healthcare providers, including hospitals, clinics, and specialist centers, patient competition in Phoenix is fierce. This saturated healthcare landscape might lead to issues. To draw in and keep patients, medical practices must constantly distinguish themselves by providing high-quality treatment, creative offerings, and an excellent patient experience. Price competition might emerge, possibly altering healthcare prices and reimbursement rates. A competitive market requires strategic planning and resource allocation, as healthcare providers must combine financial sustainability with exceptional patient care. Prospering in this scenario requires medical practices to adjust, innovate, and find methods to stand out in a crowded and dynamic industry.

Regulatory Complexities

The Phoenix healthcare landscape is also beset with regulatory complexities at the federal and state levels. Navigating this intricate web of shifting industry policies, compliance standards, and legislation can be daunting for many medical practitioners. The ACA, HIPAA, and other federal policies can impact service delivery, reimbursement, and patient privacy. Arizona-specific healthcare policies and Medicaid regulations contribute to the complexity.  Staying compliant with these regulations is critical to avoiding legal and financial repercussions. Healthcare organizations must adapt and adhere to government and industry policies. They must also allocate significant resources to align their procedures and operations with evolving standards while delivering quality care. 

The Urgency for Agility in Phoenix’s Shifting Healthcare Landscape

The Urgency for Agility in Phoenix’s Shifting Healthcare LandscapePhoenix’s medical institutions must prioritize agility to adapt to the evolving healthcare landscape. Agility is a critical attribute for medical companies in Phoenix. It refers to the ability to adapt to rapid technological, regulatory, or demographic changes while maintaining a solid commitment to patient care, cost efficiency, and compliance. The following are the benefits of achieving, maintaining, and improving agility for healthcare providers in Phoenix.

Flexibility to Quickly Address Patient and Regulatory Requirements

Flexibility is a fundamental aspect of agility in healthcare. The evolving landscape in Phoenix demands that medical organizations adapt swiftly to external changes.  Adaptable healthcare businesses can modify their strategies, operations, and services to meet new patient requirements, regulatory changes, and technology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, the swift transition to telehealth services proved the necessity of flexibility in ensuring patient care continuity.

Cost Efficiency to Optimize Resources

Cost efficiency is another critical component in an agile Phoenix healthcare industry. With rising costs and expanding populations, medical companies must find ways to optimize their resource allocation.  Agile healthcare firms excel at simplifying processes, cutting waste, and developing cost-effective solutions without sacrificing care quality. Cost-effective techniques enable medical professionals to shift resources toward areas that directly impact patient care and strategic ambitions.

Outstanding Care for Excellent Patient Experience

Quality service, care, and treatment remain essential in the Phoenix healthcare landscape. Agility does not imply abandoning quality in favor of speed. Instead, it promotes adaptability while preserving or enhancing patient care quality.  Agile medical providers prioritize patient safety, adherence to clinical best practices, and positive patient outcomes. They leverage flexibility and innovation to enhance the quality of care, ensuring that patients receive the best possible treatment and experience.

Innovation to Enhance Patient Outcomes

Phoenix’s agile medical practices are known for their innovation. They embrace a transformative culture, constantly looking for ways to improve patient care, reduce operations, and stay on the cutting edge of healthcare technology.  The evolving Phoenix healthcare landscape must adapt to emerging technologies and care models to enhance patient outcomes and provide value-based care. Innovation helps medical organizations meet changing patient demands and compete effectively in the market.

Outsourcing to Boost Agility in the Phoenix Healthcare Landscape

Outsourcing to Boost Agility in the Phoenix Healthcare Landscape Outsourcing is a strategic approach that medical organizations use to accelerate their agility in the Phoenix healthcare landscape. Healthcare BPO involves contracting a third-party service provider to manage specific business processes or functions, enabling organizations to focus on patient care, service, and treatment. Healthcare BPO services involve revenue cycle management (RCM), medical billing, coding, transcription, claims processing, telehealth assistance, and other related operations. BPO companies specializing in healthcare employ competent virtual medical specialists, assistants, and other professionals to support medical companies with operations, technology, and compliance. They can deliver delegated functions in one of the following effective outsourcing models:
  • Offshoring. The service provider’s operations are on another continent, away from the Phoenix medical organization. For example, a cardiology clinic outsources administrative functions to a BPO vendor in the Philippines.
  • Nearshoring. The third-party provider handles the outsourced functions in a country near Phoenix. The best example is outsourcing medical billing and telehealth services to a BPO provider in Mexico.  
Consider how outsourcing lets organizations in the Phoenix healthcare landscape attain and enhance agility by becoming more flexible, cost-effective, innovative, and patient-focused.

Lowered Operating Expenses for More Available Resources

One benefit of outsourcing for the Phoenix medical practice is decreased recurring expenses. Managing an in-house back-end operation might take time, resources, and effort, hampering overall agility. Explore how outsourcing can minimize operating costs for medical companies in the Phoenix healthcare landscape:
  • Physical, digital, and virtual resources. Establishing and overseeing an internal back-office unit entails acquiring new technology (e.g., hardware and software systems) and other assets. Upkeep and upgrade costs are also involved. The medical practice needs to expand its facilities to accommodate more recruits.
  • Recruitment. Procuring BPO services for healthcare reduces payroll spending. The service provider also shoulders time-consuming, costly, and repetitive hiring procedures, such as employment placements, applicant vetting and examination, and new hire onboarding and training.
  • Salary and other compensation. Permanent in-house medical personnel are granted steady salaries, overtime compensation, and tax remittances, irrespective of business circumstances. The healthcare provider is also legally responsible for non-monetary perks (e.g., sick and vacation leaves).
  • Skills enhancement. The outsourcing company pays for retraining and skills enhancement initiatives. It continuously enhances its employees’ abilities to address emerging challenges. Conducting these activities internally would strain the medical company’s financial resources.

Strict Regulatory Compliance to Avoid Costly Repercussions

Updates in federal rules and business practices significantly influence the Phoenix medical sector. Violating rules leads to medical organizations facing sanctions, lawsuits, and reputational damage. Established service providers can help medical organizations drive agility by adhering to government regulations and industry standards while keeping their data secure and private. Below are two critical healthcare policies a BPO provider tracks for a medical practice:
  • HIPAA is a federal law governing healthcare facilities and medical practitioners. Its purpose is to avoid the unauthorized disclosure of patient health information. It protects individuals from unwillingly or unlawfully disclosing their personal information to others. Phoenix recently experienced its fair share of HIPAA infractions.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union data policy that applies to organizations operating within the region. As the world’s strictest privacy regulation, the GDPR mandates that all enterprises safeguard customer data for five years.

Limited Medical Coding and Billing Errors for Better Collections

Another way medical organizations can enhance agility in Phoenix’s healthcare landscape via outsourcing is by acquiring a team of skilled medical coders and billers.  These third-party professionals are trained to handle complex and challenging insurance claims. They are proficient in different coding standards, including Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), and the Diagnosis Related Group (DRG).  Third-party medical coders and billers can manage and finish claims activities precisely and quickly. They strive to lower insurer claim rejections so healthcare companies can promptly obtain payments for services rendered. Higher efficiency translates to more agility, leading to the following benefits: 
  • Faster growth. With more cash, medical institutions can grow their facilities while strengthening patient care and service. 
  • Stronger staff morale. More excellent payment collection results in extra funds and less work for your staff. Acceptable workloads and additional rewards lessen the chance of employee turnover.
  • Elevated patient experience. Accurate billing motivates patients to agree to service prices. Patient satisfaction promotes efficiency while decreasing nonpayment.

Budget-friendly, Competent Remote Workers to Improve Profit Margins

Healthcare process outsourcing enables medical organizations in Phoenix to acquire reliable, efficient, and cost-effective workers from offshore firms in the Philippines and nearshore providers in Mexico. These remote professionals have the technical and soft skills to provide outsourced clinical functions. Below is a comparison of medical assistant salaries in the Philippines, Mexico, and Phoenix (Arizona, U.S.) to demonstrate the substantial cost reductions from offshore or nearshore outsourcing.
Country Average Salary of Medical Assistant (in U.S. dollars)
The Philippines  $410.73   
Mexico  $1026.76 
Phoenix, Arizona (U.S.) $3,296 
Source: The Philippines and Mexico amounts were culled from Salary Explorer, while Phoenix, Arizona (U.S.) figures were from Indeed Note: Figures from Salary Explorer are in domestic exchange rates and were changed from Philippine pesos (PHP) and Mexican pesos (MXN) to U.S. dollars ($) for consistency.  Examine the wages in the Philippines and Phoenix. Per the statistics above, outsourcing a medical assistant from the Philippines will translate to cost savings of $2,885.27 monthly for the healthcare organization. However, the figures and computations are approximations. Contact a BPO provider for more accurate cost details. 

Scalable Operations to Control Costs More Effectively

Outsourcing healthcare processes to BPO companies enables medical organizations to smoothly modify the size or number of outsourced activities to address requirements without sacrificing current operations. Practices in the Phoenix healthcare landscape can thrive without spending too much of their valuable resources. Scalability through outsourcing allows healthcare providers the following advantages:
  • Promptness. The BPO company aids medical practices in disaster readiness by minimizing the impact of disruptions on operations, notably patient treatment and assistance.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Outsourcing qualified third-party expertise can help medical organizations cut operating costs. BPO companies can adjust their workforce as required. They can assist healthcare facilities in determining the breadth of measures needed to best utilize their budget.
  • Flexibility. Outsourced procedures allow enterprises to respond quickly to shifting patient, client, or business demands and realities. Given their tailored services, offshore outsourcing companies benefit healthcare providers in Phoenix.

Skilled in Customer Care Best Practices for a Positive Patient Journey

The service provider’s effective implementation of established methodologies ensures outstanding patient satisfaction and enhances the performance of third-party teams. Tried-and-tested practices encourage adoption within the healthcare community in Phoenix, fostering a culture of innovation and efficiency. Below are best practices that help medical companies in the Phoenix healthcare landscape improve agility:
  • Offer personalized patient service. BPO employees are coached and trained to provide empathic and individualized service, which helps strengthen patient connections. 
  • Communicate with patients or clients through favored channels. Third-party specialists respond to each generation’s communication tastes. Baby boomers and Generation X favor phones and email services, while millennials and Generation Z are more at ease with social media than traditional platforms.
  • Harness feedback. Third-party professionals collect patient comments and recommendations for the healthcare organization. This data is analyzed to properly comprehend the patient’s needs and deliver better service.

Heightened Cybersecurity Operations for Stronger Data Security 

Medical organizations in Phoenix invest in cutting-edge healthcare information technology (IT) applications to enhance patient care. However, they might face challenges in data security because their expertise is primarily in patient care rather than information systems management. One reason for Phoenix healthcare providers to consider offshore or nearshore outsourcing is that third-party vendors can protect confidential health data from intrusions and illegal usage with the following capabilities:
  • 24/7 cybersecurity solutions. Cyberattacks can occur at any moment. In Phoenix, 80% of small business websites unknowingly possess vulnerabilities due to inadequate protection. BPO firms employ continuous online security measures to defend against online threats.
  • Knowledgeable third-party IT staff. Third-party IT professionals frequently address threats, including fraud, data theft, and breaches. They are more familiar with data security and risk. As such, the in-house IT personnel can engage with the third-party team to comprehend new cybersecurity strategies. 

The Bottom Line

As the Phoenix healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the urgency for medical organizations to build and improve agility should be emphasized.  Achieving greater agility can help medical providers succeed. By outsourcing to become more agile, healthcare organizations in Phoenix can swiftly adapt to changes, optimize resource utilization, prioritize patient care, and promote a culture of innovation. Let’s connect if you want to learn more about how Phoenix medical organizations can stay agile in a changing healthcare landscape!
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Rene Mallari considers himself a multipurpose writer who easily switches from one writing style to another. He specializes in content writing, news writing, and copywriting. Before joining Unity Communications, he contributed articles to online and print publications covering business, technology, personalities, pop culture, and general interests. He has a business degree in applied economics and had a brief stint in customer service. As a call center representative (CSR), he enjoyed chatting with callers about sports, music, and movies while helping them with their billing concerns. Rene follows Jesus Christ and strives daily to live for God.
Picture of Rene Mallari

Rene Mallari

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