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Healthcare is crucial to treating patients and saving lives. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged healthcare providers worldwide, increasing the value of healthcare offshoring services.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) applies to the healthcare sector. Clinics and hospitals outsource non-clinical operations to offshore providers to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and prioritize medical care. Some have even started outsourcing clinical functions such as direct patient care and remote patient monitoring (RPM).
Why? This article explores the benefits and advantages of offshore healthcare outsourcing. Read below to learn how to maximize this strategy.
Key Benefits and Advantages of Healthcare Offshoring Services
Let us begin by asking, “What is BPO?” BPO entails subcontracting processes (functions or tasks) to a third-party service provider. Many industries have leveraged BPO to improve operations while reducing expenses. The healthcare sector is no exception.
Clinics and hospitals delegate their non-clinical operations to BPO service providers. Some healthcare providers go to the extent of entrusting medical functions to expert offshore partners. Even health insurance carriers and medical professionals resort to offshore outsourcing.
Such a move implies how viable BPO in healthcare is. Let us tackle its key benefits and advantages.
1. Achieve Cost-efficiency
Utilizing offshore outsourcing provides healthcare providers with access to resources in regions where labor and operational expenses are notably lower. This strategic approach leads to substantial cost reductions, eliminating the need for infrastructure, talent, or resource investment.
Furthermore, outsourcing to healthcare BPO providers possessing genuine expertise and cutting-edge technology has the potential to enhance your overall efficiency. By curbing expenditures, you can avail yourself of a dependable outsourcing collaborator that enhances the efficiency of your healthcare services.
2. Improve Accessibility
Offshore outsourcing gives you global access to an extensive reservoir of highly skilled professionals. It also involves harnessing state-of-the-art digital tools and advanced resources. Therefore, offshore outsourcing becomes indispensable if your clinic or hospital faces shortages in human and technological assets.
Healthcare offshoring services benefit non-clinical functions like medical transcription, billing, and claim processing. However, some healthcare providers extend their reach to global health professionals for tasks encompassing remote patient monitoring (RPM) and other clinical responsibilities.
3. Focus on Core Competencies
The delivery of healthcare plays a pivotal role in saving lives and advancing public health. Therefore, physicians and other healthcare practitioners should focus on providing medical care. Nevertheless, healthcare institutions must not disregard the importance of their non-clinical operations, encompassing administrative responsibilities.
Offshore outsourcing affords these organizations the opportunity to concentrate on their fundamental strengths. By entrusting non-core functions to external partners, your team can reallocate internal resources and expertise to areas directly impacting patient care. This shift in priorities enables your team to place a heightened emphasis on clinical excellence, research, innovation, and the delivery of healthcare services.
4. Enhance Service Quality
In contrast to prevailing misconceptions, healthcare offshoring services possess the potential to elevate the standard of care delivered. As previously discussed, they empower physicians and healthcare experts to focus on medical care, yielding top-tier healthcare outcomes.
Simultaneously, healthcare outsourcing enhances the quality of your organization’s non-clinical functions. By implementing robust quality controls, you can ensure operational efficiency, the precision of patient data, and adherence to regulatory standards.
5. Scale and Grow the Organization
Within healthcare, organizations, particularly clinics and care centers, opt for outsourcing to tap into expertise and streamline operations. This pertains to non-medical functions like appointment scheduling, medical coding, and data record management.
Through offshore outsourcing, you can grant a dependable third party the capability to flexibly scale your operations, whether increasing or decreasing them as needed. Leveraging the service provider’s resources, including healthcare professionals and cutting-edge technologies, can optimize your processes. Ultimately, this can propel your clinic or center toward growth and success!
Success Stories About Healthcare Offshoring Services
The healthcare offshoring services market is growing. According to Precedence Research, the global healthcare BPO market size could grow from $391.32 billion in 2023 to $864.02 billion by 2032. The sector could expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% during the forecast period.
This market growth implies that more healthcare organizations will continue to partner with BPO providers. Explore the case studies below to learn how healthcare offshoring services work.
Case Study 1. UnitedHealth Group (UHG)
UnitedHealth Group (UHG) is one of the largest health insurance carriers in the United States. Through its subsidiary, Optum, UHG has successfully outsourced various non-clinical operations to cut costs, streamline processes, and ensure quality healthcare for its members.
UHG has long outsourced its front-office work overseas, such as customer service for benefits and claims. However, it has recently expanded its offshoring initiatives by outsourcing back-end operations, such as medical billing and claims processing.
Case Study 2. Unity Case Study (Insurance Carrier)
A leading medical consulting and insurance provider employed Unity Communications’ healthcare outsourcing services. This healthcare organization sought our help to handle its back-office task for insurance verification.
Through offshoring, this client could focus on its core operations while we helped improve the process efficiency and data accuracy of its insurance verification. Ultimately, the organization reaped benefits such as increased productivity, improved operations, reduced costs, and enhanced cash flow.
Common Challenges and Misconceptions About Healthcare Offshoring Services
Clinics and hospitals have started hiring BPO services, whether front- or back-office offshoring services. They take the offshore outsourcing route because of the practical benefits and advantages they can get.
However, some healthcare providers inevitably encounter challenges. Unfortunately, due to common myths, others refuse to outsource their clinical and non-clinical operations.
The next section debunks some misconceptions about healthcare outsourcing without ignoring the obvious challenges to informed decisions.
1. Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Clinics and hospitals are usually well aware of the laws and regulations governing the healthcare sector. However, offshore outsourcing means they might partner with BPO service providers unfamiliar with the legalities.
However, that is not always the case. Many offshore providers specializing in healthcare study their clients’ healthcare laws and regulations. Their workers even get specialized training programs to ensure 100% compliance.
2. Cultural and Language Barriers
Healthcare offshoring services entail working with BPO service providers in a different country. As such, healthcare providers might encounter communication issues and cultural differences.
The advent of globalization has somehow addressed these problems, which has made offshore outsourcing a viable business strategy. Additionally, healthcare BPO providers offer language proficiency programs and cultural orientation to remove cultural and language barriers.
3. Data Privacy and Security Concerns
Offshore outsourcing exposes patient health information and sensitive business data to a third party. The problem is that Protenus recorded 678 hacking incidents in 2021, comprising nearly 44 million patient records. People mistakenly believe that a BPO partnership might result in non-compliance with laws and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
With the rise of healthcare outsourcing, BPO service providers are fully committed to protecting data and information. Not only do they set privacy policies, but they also secure their network and implement security protocols. Full regulatory compliance is usually part of the service-level agreement (SLA).
Top Offshoring Recommendations for Healthcare Providers
Offshore BPO proves beneficial in more ways than one. HOwever, as discussed above, it also comes with some challenges. Therefore, choosing an offshore outsourcing company to partner with requires careful planning and execution to maximize the benefits and minimize potential challenges.
Below are the top offshoring recommendations for healthcare providers looking to outsource their clinical and non-clinical operations.
- Prioritize offshoring non-core operations. You can outsource non-clinical functions (medical transcription, medical coding, and claims processing) and administrative tasks (human resources, payroll, and technical support).
- Create an SLA. This legally binding contract covers the work scope to protect both parties. Include the key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor, measure, and improve performance.
- Maintain open communication and constant collaboration. Both parties should work together towards common business goals—improving healthcare efficiency and quality.
- Understand and comply with the HIPAA guidelines. HIPAA seeks to protect the patient’s health information.
- Select the most appropriate healthcare BPO provider. Ensure your chosen BPO firm specializes in healthcare and that its team has medical backgrounds.
The Bottom Line
As the healthcare sector faces mounting challenges, healthcare offshoring services have become feasible for maximizing efficiency and ensuring quality care. By hiring a reliable offshore provider, you can achieve the following goals:
- Core Competency
Offshore outsourcing has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare landscape, making it more sustainable, accessible, and effective for everyone involved.
Looking to maximize your healthcare efficiency? Contact us today, and let’s connect! Unity Communications offers various outsourcing services catering to the e-commerce and healthcare industries. We can help accelerate your non-clinical operations to improve your overall healthcare delivery.