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August 2015 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

Aging Population to Fuel Medical Billing Outsourcing

According to the report "Global Medical Billing Outsourcing Market 2015-2019" posted at MedGadget.com, the medical billing outsourcing market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.29% by 2019.

Analysts see an increase in global healthcare spending which can be attributed to developed countries with an aging population and lower fertility rate. Emerging countries will likewise contribute to the growth of the market, with their lack of infrastructure, increase in cases of chronic diseases, and unequal opportunities or availability of patient care.

Technology and the internet play a significant role in the day-to-day operations of healthcare enterprises and as this is predicted to still hold true in the coming years, the IT departments will likewise play a huge role to keep the operations running.

Many healthcare enterprises find it difficult to handle their operations, particularly in providing services to their customers. Aside from this, the increasing costs, inefficient processes, increased need for risk and compliance management, and business goal alignment are factors that drive healthcare enterprises to outsource processes with both agility and control in mind. Outsourcing models that focus on these aspects help healthcare providers shift their finances from being cost-centric to profit-centric. This move enables them to achieve a balance in expenses and growth, decrease cash conversion cycle, improve sales, and help in maximizing the return on investment for a given period of time.

Key vendors in the market include Accenture, AGS Health, Cognizant Technology Solutions, GeBBS Healthcare, Genpact, HCL Technologies, and Medusind.

This report from Market Research Store is based on an in-depth market analysis and includes insights from the experts in the industry. Moreover, the report has information about the global medical billing outsourcing market landscape as well as its growth path in the near future.

More entrepreneurs are realizing the benefits of outsourcing certain functions. These benefits are often hinged on cost reduction, innovation, improvements in efficiency and customer services, and motivate employees. In past few years, the human resources segment is one of the areas that firms are seen investing on.

What to consider before outsourcing HR processes

A post at SpendMatters.com explains that business process outsourcing (BPO) is a commoditized tool which involves the transfer of ordinary, repetitive tasks to a solutions provider to help the client focus on the core processes of the company. It is also anticipated to improve the levels of service, productivity, and help the company be more cost-efficient. Some of the HR processes that can be outsourced are:

•    Payroll
•    Compensation and Benefits Administration
•    Hiring and Recruiting
•    Education and Training
•    Personnel Administration

However, based on the collective data, companies are outsourcing HR processes because they are looking for effective and agile global payroll solutions, while other firms outsource to boost customer involvement from small and medium businesses, and easily comply with the changes in regulatory stipulations and concerns particularly in benefits administration.

But before jumping in on the trend, you must first look into factors that can help you select the right outsourcing partner. Take a look at their track record, their rates and packages, service level guarantees, clauses that can bind you with the provider, flexibility, and level of specialization.  

Like in all types of outsourcing, business owners are worried over several challenges that they are likely to encounter. Since work will be done remotely, they fear they will lose control over the operation, and it will stray from the original objective of the project. Moreover, it is anticipated to affect the morale of internal HR employees.

Cloud computing adopted by healthcare sector

Healthcare outsourcing is slowly adopting cloud technology and is anticipated to shape the global healthcare industry. For instance, more outsourcing solutions will be integrated to remote infrastructures which are managed by cloud providers. This type of process is categorized as Business Process as a Service (BPaaS). Some of the functions in the healthcare segment that have been operating using the cloud are payroll, accounting and finance, customer support, and even specialized HR solutions.

MedGadget.com discussed the recent findings in Market Research Store’s Healthcare BPO Market 2015 research report. It is projected that finance and accounting, HR outsourcing, and CRM outsourcing in the healthcare BPO market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.32 percent from 2014-2019.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is considered as one of the most useful tools. It enables clients to improve operational efficiency, focus on their core processes, reduce turnaround time, and provide access to the latest innovations and best candidates all over the world. In the healthcare segment, BPO services are utilized to maximize not only these benefits but also to reduce costs, improve patient care services, and staff efficiency.

With the upcoming implementation of the ICD-10, healthcare organizations are expected to comply with the changes and deliver services as promptly as possible.

The study also found that more healthcare organizations are moving towards automated outsourced operations so they can sustain their day-to-day processes and retain foothold in the market. Moreover, factors that are considered by organizations when it comes to outsourcing are scalability, flexibility, how easy it is to use and integrate with existing tools, and compatibility with other data and internal and external sources.

Healthcare Outsourcing Trends and Forecast

An article posted at MedGadget.com highlighted the findings in ‘Healthcare Contract Research Outsourcing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Trends and Forecast 2012-2018’, the latest report from US-based market intelligence agency, Transparency Market Research.

The study covered several areas in the healthcare research outsourcing market including past data about the market, and used it to produce market forecasts up until 2018. Globally, the market was valued at US$25.08 billion in 2011. It is expected to reach US$65.03 billion by 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7%.

There are four segments under this market: clinical trial services, regulatory services, medical writing services, and clinical data management services. Clinical trial services took the lead with a market value of US$14.21 billion in 2010. It covers areas such as drug discovery services, preclinical services, as well as phase I to phase IV trial services.

The report also found that the market’s main clients are from contract research organizations, clinical trial laboratories, and academic medical centers. North America took the lion’s share of the market with 64.1%, followed by Europe and Asia. Findings also anticipate that the healthcare contact research outsourcing market in Asia will rapidly expand as more contract research organizations emerge.

Several factors that are contributing to the growth of the global healthcare contract research outsourcing market include the rise in costs and reduced productivity in the healthcare research segment. Moreover, in-house healthcare research departments are facing challenges related to patent expirations, and drug research has become a difficult process to be run in-house.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to address these challenges as it offers cheaper services and maturing technological foundation for drug research.

The study also noted that the most common processes to be outsourced to healthcare contract research outsourcing companies are clinical data management and medical writing.

Some challenges in the growth of the market are quality issues, discrepancies in regulations, and approval process for drug research in certain regions. For instance, since the research facility will be located offshore, problems in methodology, equipment, and even hygiene can affect the final result.

Other issues that may arise are security-related ones due to the lack of direct supervision over the operation.

An article posted at HBR.org highlights the possible rise in demand for skilled Filipino technology professionals as the number of successful tech start-ups continues to grow.

The Philippines has gone through a major overhaul in the last couple of decades. It was once easily identified as the sick man of Asia, but is now one of the emerging countries and is the second fastest-growing economy in the world.

One of the country’s largest exports and revenue generators is services. Sourcing from the Philippines is now widely considered by companies that are looking to scale efficiently and sustainably. Its capacity to supply skilled talent spurs from the rapid rise of technology start-ups around the globe. These companies are considered “unicorns”, they are the ones that quickly became billion-dollar organizations, and just last year, 30 unicorns have been spotted. These unicorns are now maturing and their mantra is no longer about growing and proving they are a success. Now, there’s more work to be done - they have to prove that they are not a one hit wonder.

BPO sector to post $25B in revenues

The Philippines’ business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is not only an investment opportunity for global organizations; it also provides an effective means to successfully expand and fill in the gaps within their operations. The Philippines’ BPO sector employs over a million workers and is anticipated to post $25 billion in revenues in 2016 and is a huge chunk of the country’s GDP of $270 billion. Tech-enabled services are one of the segments that are fuelling the industry with complex and high-valued skills such as mobile app development and data analytics, as well as middle-level skills such as video production, copywriting, and financial analysis.

The Philippines, a country that is likewise recognized for call center outsourcing, is gaining quite a following in the American tech space with its ability to reduce costs, and its large pool of young, English-speaking skilled workforce. The average age of a tech professional in the country is 24, and local universities have been reported to produce more than 130,000 IT and engineering graduates annually who are proficient in trending programming languages and are able to produce iOS and Android apps flawlessly. As for the rates, a trained developer with at least five years’ experience can cost less than $25,000 per year.

Foreign companies also have endless options when building a flexible and well-equipped offshore team due to the rise of cloud technology. They can also team up with outsourcing providers to start a virtual setup that can accommodate the scale required in augmenting or automating an operation.

As for young Filipino workers, they now have more options in creating their own path as the local outsourcing space is shifting from call center work to working for companies that have the potential to become part of Silicon Valley’s finest.

3 Signs Your Social Media Strategies arenít Customer-centric

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, August 6, 2015 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Customer Centric Social Media Strategies

Organizations have long struggled to provide a unified customer experience - be it in marketing emails or customer support calls to in-person sales meetings or in-store interactions. Now, the hype of social media has changed the customer experience game. Word-of-mouth reach is wider than ever, what with the unlimited access of customers to social media platforms, review sites, and blogs. This puts customer touch points on a scale that many organizations can’t meet, leading to social media strategies that aren’t customer-centric.

Gartner identifies three common signs that your social media strategy could be harming the customer experience:

Your social media strategy doesn’t account for responding to posts.
Responding to every social media post about your brand isn’t always the best route. You must first decide what your organization is trying to achieve with its social strategy. Most organizations choose to respond to posts that require customer support, present themselves as easy marketing opportunities, or show inclination to purchase. However, organizations like those in the energy and utility, pharmaceutical, or public transportation industries opt out of responding based on their business objectives.

Your knowledge of your social media strategy is that it’s something marketing handles.
That employees aren’t sure what social media-based activities are already happening within their organizations is a key challenge for many companies. When multiple departments use multiple social customer tools, not only is it a waste of money, market data and insight and social customer histories are also lost. Customers may get conflicting messages if both customer service teams and marketing teams - that don’t know of the other’s approach - are responding to social media posts that mention the organization. To optimize organizational resources and deliver a consistent customer experience, reconcile unique and repetitive business objectives.

It’s unclear if the people your organization is engaging with on social media are customers.
Many organizations find it difficult to leverage social as part of a unified customer experience, mainly because interactions and customer profiles are not captured or linked up to existing customer records. Being able to tie social interactions back to customer records makes it possible to enhance customer experience, minimize disconnected communications, and ultimately increase customer retention. Regardless of the channel, today’s customers expect businesses to sustain interactions with them that are connected, convenient, consistent, and personalized.

Consumer expectations for engagement with brands will continue to evolve, creating a push for enhanced communication and personalized interactions. Only organizations that meet and exceed customer expectations and create engaging and consistent interactions will have the upper hand in customer experience and retention.

HealthDataManagement.com listed down factors that can affect the decision-making process of CIOs and healthcare executives on whether or not they should push through with outsourcing healthcare IT functions.

Should you push through with outsourcing healthcare IT functions?

Any strategy that involves technology will affect the efficiency and capacity of an organization. In order to reach a decision on whether they should outsource IT processes or not, CIOs and executives of healthcare organizations should have a strong understanding of what their limits are, and where they excel in. Moreover, they have to look into these four important things:

How much will it cost?
Paying for IT outsourcing services can lead to an on-going investment, meaning it’s not a one-time- big-time thing as CIOs need to consider future expenses like ongoing maintenance for updates, changing demands from clients, and compliance requirements. On a side note, outsourcing enables organizations to get services at flexible costs and can boost operations when needed.

How agile will the providers be?
There are certain instances when healthcare organizations need to start projects immediately. Some keep the projects in-house because they feel they have more control on the turnaround time of a project, while some are lucky enough to find a provider that’s quick to take action and deliver results.

Will it add value to your company?
Outsourcing enables companies to focus on the core processes by freeing up resources. Some experts believe that organizations that try to keep all IT functions in-house spend more on research, development, and implementation. With outsourcing, you basically have more money and more time.

Gain access to a wide pool of IT experts.
IT outsourcing providers are the first ones to be in on a trend or development in the tech industry. They are also updated in terms of the best practices based on their experience in the field. Moreover, small businesses can take advantage of the technology that larger, multinational companies are enjoying because they are always ahead in terms of what is demanded in the market.