While some would argue that the practice of outsourcing of healthcare services such as medical billing and medical coding services would be detrimental to a company, there are those who would lobby for the move, citing successes among other outsourcing sectors such as customer relationship management or other back office functions. Others fear that the adoption of healthcare outsourcing would not only be detrimental to the company but the whole industry as well.
In a report by the American Society for Quality (ASQ), dated the 1st of November, 56% of respondents to a survey conducted among more than 300 ASQ members and practitioners were substantially dissatisfied with their current provider in the areas of innovation and making process improvements.
Also on the 1st of November, an article from the Wall Street Journal cited how Indian healthcare outsourcing providers will have a hard time convincing US healthcare providers, specifically, US hospitals, to outsource with them. According to the article, the qualms according to healthcare providers arise from worries over efficiency as well as legal concerns.
But while the concerns do exist, outsourcing companies remain optimistic. IT and business process outsourcing provider, the ConJoin Group acquired healthcare IT business process outsourcing provider, PHNS on the 8th of November. Richard Garnick, the ConJoin Group’s founder, says that the acquisition is “a significant opportunity to dramatically scale up operations and improve the PHNS product offering in response to unprecedented North American demand for healthcare IT services”.
The TriZetto Group has even announced on the 8th of November that its plans to expand for its business process outsourcing services to include front-end processing, enrollment, billing and claims administration.
Meanwhile, US-based company, Globallogic, advised on the 15th of November that they will be increasing their manpower to about 2,000 with half of this in India. According to Peter Harrison, the company’s CEO, “We have seen healthcare merging with telecom in the form of devices and this convergence is expected to bring a lot of growth to our business, globally as well as in India.” Aside from that, the company is looking at an acquisition in India.
And while these are just some of the developments in the healthcare outsourcing sector, a market commentary by Marlin & Associates on the 10th of November, speculates that with the increasing trend of outsourcing coupled with the pressure of healthcare reform to improve healthcare services and technology, some companies will likely stand out in building a “next generation Healthcare Information Network”. These include UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) subsidiary, Ingenix, Verizon, AT&T (NYSE:VZ), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM (NYSE:IBM).
As seen in the recent developments above, with the increasing competition, ever-nearing deadline, and the pressures from healthcare providers to provide better services and quality, then it is likely that the healthcare as we know it today will be revolutionized into a well-organized and technologically sound system. Call it an overly optimistic view of the future state of healthcare and healthcare outsourcing, but then again, all innovation does not have its own eureka moments.