A while back, when you heard someone refer to healthcare outsourcing, you knew they were speaking about medical logistics solutions, medical billing outsourcing and coding services. Now however, healthcare outsourcing can refer to a myriad of different fields. Healthcare outsourcing companies have diversified their offerings in order to be able to fit into the sometimes overstretched budgets of healthcare providers creating solutions suited specifically for the healthcare industry.
But while medical coding and billing are not the sole areas of focus in the healthcare outsourcing, it is certainly one that requires the most attention among healthcare providers because of the healthcare reform. On the 4th of October, consulting firm, Navigant (NYSE:NCI), acquired healthcare consulting company, EthosPartners Healthcare Management Group (EthosPartners). EthosPartners specializes in physician and hospital alignment, physician practice operations management and physician revenue cycle management. The company cites the need to “prepare for the demands of health reform while delivering high quality care”, a need that is certainly echoed by many healthcare providers.
Many medical billing and coding companies are preparing for the influx of business in relation to the reform and some are choosing to diversify and expand their offerings in order to cover numerous areas in the space. One such company is outsourcing company and subsidiary of Xerox (NYSE:XRX), ACS, who announced on the 15th of October that they are acquiring healthcare teleservices company, TMS Health from Palm Beach Capital. The Florida based company provides customer care services to pharmaceutical, biotech, and other healthcare-related industries. According to Connie Harvey, Group President of ACS Healthcare Payer and Insurance, “ACS is helping pharmaceutical companies make every customer interaction count — in a market that spends up to $12 billion per year on marketing to its stakeholders, TMS brings strong communication capabilities to the deal. Together, we will save clients money and help them more effectively reach constituents.” TMS is the healthcare teleservices provider of seven of the top ten pharmaceutical companies, and who, only four years before had been acquired by Palm Beach Capital for $10.5 million. TMS Health counted companies such as AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), Merck (NSE:MERCK), and Novartis (NYSE:NVS) as some of its clients during that acquisition.
Indian company Aditya Birla Minac’s on the other hand, is going into similar paths as ACS when they advised on that they are also looking for acquisitions in the healthcare space, as well in the public sector. But while ACS’ acquisition was for a US based company, Birla Minac’s is looking towards Europe for its expansion plans. According to Deepak Patel, Aditya Birla Minacs CEO, “At the moment, our priority is to build capabilities in core business process in the healthcare and public sector verticals. If we get a firm with a European base it would be an added advantage.”
Meanwhile, in the healthcare information technology (IT) space, CACI International was awarded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with a $1 billion multi-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract on the 19th of October. The contract will focus on providing close to real-time gathering of health information, development of analytic tools, and public health and community collaboration. According to Bill Fairl, CACI’s President of US Operations, the contract will allow CACI to, “provide credible health information and better protect the health of the public.”
It is interesting to see that while outsourcing urges companies to specialize, the outsourcing industry itself, and outsourcing companies as well, are being pushed to diversify their offerings to address the needs of companies. Healthcare is only one industry but certainly, it presents a multitude of opportunities as well.