Written by Dion Jay Tality
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
Offshore outsourcing allows healthcare providers to access resources in countries with lower labor and operating costs. This business strategy results in significant cost savings as you do not need to spend on infrastructure, talent, or resources.
Offshoring to healthcare BPO providers with true expertise and modern technology can also increase your overall efficiency. While reducing expenditures, you can benefit from a reliable outsourcing partner that boosts your health service efficiency.
2. Improve Accessibility
Offshore outsourcing means having global access to a vast pool of highly skilled talent. It also entails leveraging the latest digital tools and advanced resources. So offshoring is key if you lack human and technological resources for your clinic or hospital.
Healthcare offshoring services are best for non-clinical functions such as medical transcription, billing, and claims processing. But some healthcare providers tap global health professionals to handle RPM and other clinical tasks.
3. Focus on Core Competencies
Healthcare delivery is critical because it saves lives and promotes public health. Thus, doctors and other health professionals should focus on providing medical care. However, healthcare organizations must not neglect their non-clinical operations, such as administrative tasks.
Offshoring allows such organizations to focus on their core competencies. By outsourcing non-core functions, your team can shift its internal resources and expertise toward areas that directly affect patient care. This priority change allows your team to focus on clinical excellence, research, innovation, and healthcare delivery.
4. Enhance Service Quality
Contrary to misconceptions, healthcare offshoring services can enhance the quality of care provided. As mentioned, they allow doctors and health professionals to concentrate on medical care, resulting in high-quality healthcare.
At the same time, healthcare outsourcing enables your organization to improve the quality of its non-clinical operations. With quality controls in place, you can guarantee service efficiency, patient data accuracy, and regulatory compliance.
5. Scale and Grow the Organization
Healthcare organizations, especially clinics and care centers, outsource to access experts and streamline operations, especially for non-medical functions such as appointment scheduling, medical coding, and data record management.
You can allow a reliable third party to scale your operations up and down through offshore outsourcing. The service provider’s resources, whether health professionals or innovative technologies, can optimize your processes. Ultimately, it can help your clinic or center grow and succeed!
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 $334.15 billion in 2021 to $755.76 billion by 2030. 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 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 means exposing 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. But 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.
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About The Author
Dion Jay Tality is a content writer and one of the creative forces behind Unity Connect’s blog posts and marketing copy. Before joining Unity Communications, he spent over five years in the BPO industry, wearing various hats—from being a CSR and email and chat support specialist to being an SME and QA analyst. Name it; he tried it!
Passionate about writing, Dion loves to bring ideas to life through the power of words. When he’s not busy crafting content, you might find him working out, enjoying mindful walking, exploring conspiracy theories, or singing at the top of his lungs.