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June 2017 | Outsourcing Blog | BPO Industry Updates and Articles

A medical institution, office, or hospital functions properly not just when excellent healthcare services are provided but also when its back-end processes function effectively. Medical billing and coding go hand-in-hand. It becomes increasingly difficult nowadays to keep up-to-date with the demanding requirements of an especially strict industry as healthcare, especially as medical breakthroughs happen more often than ever. Nothing is too trivial such as medical codes that aren’t updated correctly that can lead to errors in billing and may cause significant losses.

Why outsource medical billing and coding processes

A skilled manpower is necessary for handling these tasks as they require analytical and decision-making prowess. Just as much as it is of paramount importance to focus on your organization’s core competencies, the same expertise must also be applied to medical billing and medical coding. This is why many healthcare professionals and practitioners opt to outsource these requirements to a third-party service provider.

Listed below are ten benefits of outsourcing medical billing and medical coding to a trusted offshore provider.

  1. Cost-saving benefits
    Labor costs are cut down significantly, which includes spending on training and updating an in-house or dedicated team with the latest regulations. It also addresses the shortage in medical coders affected by the expansion of the ICD-10 coding guidelines. Offshore staffs to either or both medical coding and billing personnel are inarguably less expensive than paying for their domestic counterparts.
  2. Increased revenues
    Reduced overhead costs don’t always translate to increased cash flow. But in this case, saving money and time in investments and expenses such as office and IT infrastructure, as well as salaries translates to a better-managed submission of claims and increased reimbursements. Adding to that, there is no disruption in the workflow since outsourcing companies provide continuity after regular business hours.
  3. HIPAA-compliant security measures
    Safety is highly prioritized in offshore service providers. Transactions are secured and can be accessed when needed. HIPAA-compliant service providers are built and structured to maintain confidentiality and safeguard sensitive information from scrupulous parties. There is also a solid disaster recovery strategy put in place to guarantee uninterrupted operations.
  4. ICD-10 adherence
    The revised ICD-10 codes are in response to the fast-paced changes in the U.S. healthcare industry that gives rise to higher costs of medical insurance, shifting restrictions in coverage and allowances. There is a need for medical coding to be accurate at all times, as ICD-10 will have a significant effect on time management and payment outcomes for health providers. An offshore medical billing and coding staff are up-to-date with these regulations.
  5. A staff of trained, certified, and highly skilled personnel
    A dedicated team of trained and certified medical billing and coding specialists are well-informed in the business requirements and demands of these tasks. They will familiarize themselves and apply their skills according to the customer guidelines and procedures in that specific facility.
  6. Work scalability
    Particularly in medical coding, outsourcing highly experienced and skilled medical coders well-versed with the ICD-9 and ICD-10 guidelines are beneficial in balancing the workload and their capability to function in different organization setups.
  7. Commitment to quality
    Standardized processes are already established, along with data-driven improvement initiatives that will shorten turnaround time and increase accuracy results. This, while maintaining and/or improving the workflow to ensure better quality and productivity.
  8. Up-to-date with regulations
    Outsourcing your medical billing and coding to a trusted third-party provider will provide more time to focus on other critical areas of the operation. Medical billing regulations change every so often, which will eat up a significant chunk of your time. Having an outsourced partner to take care of it gives you more time to make sure your facility is on track with regulatory changes while still being on top of things.
  9. Increased control
    Having an outsourced dedicated staff to take care of medical billing and coding does not mean less control on these processes, but a smart and strategic delegation of tasks. This ensures no other operational areas will be overlooked.
  10. Better experience for patients
    Ultimately, it’s not just the business and operation side of things that will benefit from hiring an outsourced trained and dedicated medical billing and coding staff, but also the patients. Further financial problems caused by errors or delays in processing a patient’s bills make for an unpleasant experience on top of stresses caused by health concerns already. A highly efficient and effective billing and coding process is beneficial for everyone involved.

 


Pros and Cons of Data Processing for SMEs

by: Mary Christine Galang

Thursday, June 22, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Data processing is an integral component of any business, although it varies in terms of the nature of the services and/or products you offer and also in scale as your business grows larger. Small business enterprises (SMEs) face challenges of keeping up with the rapid pace of technological advancements and maintaining up-to-date technological platforms. Critical issues may arise if SMEs allocate a huge portion of their resources to this alone. Outsourcing options present a beneficial solution in addressing this, with careful considerations of both advantages and disadvantages that can impact SMEs.

Advantages and disadvantages of data processing

Here are some of the pros and cons of data processing for SMEs.

Pros:

Accuracy, efficiency, and organization. Raw data will be converted to meaningful information readily accessible and to be used in making workflows more organized and resolving issues, among others. Even a simple delay caused by lack or erring information in SME operations can result to significant issues.

Fast processing. SMEs will be able to strategize immediately after data is interpreted. Errors and fraudulent data are detected quickly. This, in turn, allows SMEs to carry out services and offer products quicker.

Better management. It goes without saying that data processing helps your business run smoothly. Especially for SMEs constantly finding ways to grow their business, establish their brand, and provide excellent customer service.

Cons:

Larger overhead and investments. A data center facility that must be able to house IT equipment is not cheap. This will require a network setup, security foundation, and regular maintenance and updates from IT specialists and hiring essential personnel. SMEs usually opt to outsource their IT department to cut on costs.

Longer wait times. Manual processing is comparatively longer than computer- or machine-processed procedures. SMEs that do not operate 24/7 will have to resume processing the next day. Limited equipment may also mean piling up of data that needs to be processed.

Protracted changeovers. Existing procedures may not be compatible with the available data processing equipment and therefore must be converted first.

With the factors stated above, you should be able to identify whether or not data processing outsourcing is the right choice for your business. Learn more about this discipline and other outsourcing services we offer by visiting www.MicroSourcing.com.


With the technological advancements we have today, bringing ideas into reality has certainly become effortless.

Have a design in mind? You can now print it in 3D. Need to consolidate reports instantly? That’s now possible with automation tools. In fact, every facet of our daily lives has been transformed and influenced by technology - from our homes to our educational institutions, the recreational facilities and activities in our community, and even businesses.

Technology has paved the way for countless business tools and models to be more accessible. We now live in a world where employees can work remotely in different time zones, and business owners are seen using multiple options to set-up, operate and expand offshore, a huge chunk of which are back office related work such as finance and accounting, IT support, HR and talent acquisition among others.

Business proprietors outsource back office processes for several reasons. Apart from saving on operational costs, they are looking for a solution to help them expand their operations, streamline resources to boost core operations of the company, have access to a large pool of talent, and address the rapidly changing demands of the industry.

Trends impacting the global back office outsourcing market

Recently, we’ve seen several trends impacting the global back office outsourcing market, which are:

Adoption of cloud technology
Cloud-based and digital solutions are now a common thing among businesses. It enables business owners to easily access tools remotely and store and retrieve data whenever they need to. This also means there’s no need to break bank in setting up an IT infrastructure complete with maintenance support and security, enabling decision makers to focus on other core processes while funneling work to back office service providers to help ease the backlog in other departments such as finance and accounting, Human Resources, and data management.

Big data analysis/analytics
Big data analysis provides business owners with answers and a microscopic view of how an event took place like say in a purchasing cycle. In a nutshell, it gives them a better understanding of a customer’s behavior. For instance, apart from keeping track of all the historical events of a single customer, and combined with other data from other consumers and or visitors, they are able to create better and tailored products. The rise in big data in every business is creating a need to outsource back office processes, not to simply get on a trend, but to streamline operations.

Increased implementation of mobile solutions
Mobile solutions have created a different type of demand from customer and clients. Apart from wanting to purchase something on the go, majority of customers who are still at the researching part of the purchase funnel want to have information instantaneously. Creating and sorting information will need more hands on deck and to be able to cover this platform, business owners would need a helping hand from back office outsourcing. It is one of the processes that can be outsourced without disrupting the flow of work and is usually applied to supplement current procedures.


To answer the question above directly: no. All types of businesses – start-ups, small business enterprises, and large corporations – place customer services as one of their key priorities. This requires full integration of communication channels, both mobile and landline, inbound and outbound. Outsourcing customer support ensures immediate, round-the-clock assistance with managerial supervision and quality control.

Both SMEs and large corporations can benefit from customer support outsourcing

It’s not just large companies that need to cut costs.
It is beneficial for smaller businesses with limited manpower to outsource their customer support that can delegate agents to handle more customers, especially during peak season and unanticipated spikes in call volume. It will be less expensive to outsource the task to trained agents instead of hiring full-time employees and paying for benefits.

It’s not just large companies facing problems in providing personal attention to their customers.
The quality of the products and/or services being offered might be top-notch, but it does not always translate to the same quality in customer support. Smaller enterprises, in particular, are less likely to prioritize hiring a dedicated customer service staff. This task will fall to someone who might not be fully equipped to address the specific problem an irate or frustrated customer is calling for. This might be interpreted as inattention, unreliability, and could be a room for error. Ultimately, this can cause a loss in revenue.

It’s not just large companies that look for significant growth.
Outsourcing customer support enables the company’s in-house staff to focus on their core skills and expertise, and leave the task of customer assistance to trained specialists.


Training Your Remote Customer Support Team Effectively

by: Mary Christine Galang

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

There are no hard and fast rules on training remote customer support agents. There are varying factors, challenges, and requirements for each business to consider, but there are crucial points to consider not just to ensure effectiveness but also to empower your team and maintain work-life balance.

Some of the advantages of having remote customer support services include expanding your talent pool, producing a lower overhead, and increasing productivity. According to a 2014 study from the Quarterly Journal of Economics, remote working led to a 13% increase in performance. A well-trained remote customer support team can do more.

Training your remote customer support team

Here are a few pointers on how to efficiently and effectively train your team:

Take advantage of cloud support
This key process doesn’t end with training. In fact, it will be crucial on operating your remote support team. Traditional means of communication like emails have their own limits. Cloud-based project management tools are essential for data storage, security, organization, and accessibility anytime, anywhere. Orienting your team early on with how these tools work will smoothen out the process, work out the kinks, and establish guidelines and parameters for projects, procedures, and other work-related tasks. Test out multiple time and project management and/or tracker software or applications like Toggl, Asana, or Trello and find out what works best for you.

Establish goals
This is a collaborative step to identify and designate roles to each team member. Discuss the objectives, expectations, and requirements with them and brainstorm on how each one and the group as a whole can work optimally. In addition, this also builds rapport among the team. Individual tasks should be detail-specific and must complement each team member’s. Ultimately, this will provide a helpful overview for reference. Mapping out workflows lessens chances of redundancy, delays, and errors. Laying out objectives and establishing goals as clearly as possible also allow team members to monitor their work progress, which in turn, makes it easier to manage the team subsequently.

Knowing your audience
Ensuring that your support team is properly oriented with your audience enables them to understand and better communicate with the audience. Learn who your customers are. Do you have a multinational clientele? Distinguish the differences of one customer from another, in order to address their needs accurately, even anticipate it and provide insight to improve your service. Having this kind of insight helps your team provide services that will match customer expectations.

Constant communication
It goes without saying that communication is a key factor in training, especially with a remote team. Communications channels should be set up properly on Day 1 to familiarize your team with each other. Team communication tools like Google Hangout, Skype, and Slack offers a variety of options and integrations not only limited to engagement but also to help make work processes easier. If one doesn’t work, try another early on to avoid lapses in communication in the future.

Provide feedback and support
Training is, in many ways, a form of mentorship. You will be dispensing knowledge and advice for a limited amount of time, helping your team maximize their talents and skills and translate them into a mutually beneficial growth – professionally and financially. According to The New York Times, the attrition rate of remote staff are 50% lower. There’s a reason behind that. Work-life balance is better. More remote customer support personnel claims they are “happier,” and companies should keep it that way – even make it better. But this also means oversight should always be exercised at all times. Keep your team updated on new techniques and methods, software and tools that not only make their work efficient but also as competitive as their office-based counterparts.

Provide constructive feedback and support to your team. Address concerns accordingly and work with team members when creating solutions. A side-by-side or buddy system is a helpful, ‘trial’ session before fully immersing your team with the actual work. It can also identify areas of improvement early on.


5 Reasons Why You Need to Outsource Your Data Processing

by: Mary Christine Galang

Thursday, June 8, 2017 | Comments (0)

Category: Outsourcing Research / Trends

Data processing – at its simplest definition – is any process done through a computer system that converts data into information. Data is an integral part of any type of operation but without organization, any amount can be rendered useless. This is why the goal of data processing is to convert raw data into meaningful and accessible information that will provide solutions, improvements, and ensure an uninterrupted workflow. Moreover, this information is used to increase revenue and decrease cost.

Outsourcing data processing services to grow your business further

While in broad terms, data processing can mean something as simple as data entry work, it can also be a more complex process that requires a more intricate skill set applying in-depth analysis, conversion, and/or data manipulation. The work, safe to say, cannot be underestimated and requires complete oversight. Since it’s a core part of any organization, a considerable investment is needed, and with the advent of technological advancements, outsourcing your data processing services is the best strategic decision to allocate your resources and grow your business further.

Here are five reasons why data entry outsourcing is a wise choice:

  1. Low overhead costs
    Data processing has increasingly relied on different computer systems to streamline operations. This will entail regular updates and manpower to manage. Outsourced data processing services already include this, eliminating costs.
  2. Specialized personnel
    Outsourced professionals are highly trained to (another cost-effective measure) handle projects based on your needs. Whether it’s a small- or large-scale data processing project, a staff can readily work on it.
  3. Structured workflow
    A chaotic process often leads to waste of resources and losses. Processes are simplified and standardized.
  4. Established quality management practices
    Performance and output are easy to measure.
  5. 24/7 availability
    The project is attended to and managed without disruption; therefore, dramatically reducing turnaround time and costs.

One of the core principles of running your own business is to generate and sustain value. This is inarguably no easy feat, but as we live in a technology-driven world, companies come up with innovative methods on how to achieve profitable growth. In the last decade or so, the industry boom of call centers around the world, particularly in the Philippines – the top hub of business process outsourcing services – presented businesses with the option to hire specialized service providers at a lower cost.

Benefits of Outsourcing

The financial benefits of outsourcing have been proven to exceed the costs of hiring an in-house staff that will operate multiple communication channels to handle customer service. Outsourcing a call center cuts through the laborious process and saves from making hefty investments – simply put, lower overhead expenses. The time, energy, and cost that will otherwise be spent on a new facility, equipment, and network can be directed towards creating better business opportunities and looking for readily available talent.

Outsourcing is not only a cost-benefit strategy, it is also many things: customer satisfaction improvement, employing world-class talent, and introducing products and services that better target a market efficiently and faster than competitors. Forbes listed five strategic capabilities that companies use through capability-sourcing:

  • Tapping into global talent
  • Building partnerships that both capture value and reduce risk
  • Seizing new local market opportunities
  • Getting to the market faster and boost innovation
  • Disrupting traditional business models

One of the benefits of outsourcing is to hire highly experienced personnel, which means their expertise are able to generate leads that can potentially convert to sales. This makes client selection faster and more effective. As a result, more sales opportunities become more available.

Outsourcing also ensures great oversight of multiple clients. An example is the ‘shared-agent’ support (agents are shared with multiple clients) that distributes the call volumes equally; therefore lessening idle time and providing a lower cost-per-call rate for the client. During seasons or situations wherein an anticipated spike of call volumes demand for more manpower, outsourced call centers can address the demand easily. In addition, since agents are based on different parts of the globe, customers can reach a representative any time, any day.

Agents in outsourced call centers are specialist service providers, trained to handle a variety of customer products and services. Transitioning to a new client is easier and takes less time. Various engagement models are also available to measure costs per call, which allows for better management and tracking. Another incentive is the established quality control and monitoring that outsourced call centers have in place. This puts emphasis in a first-call resolution and quicker answer time.

As time goes on, outsourced call centers offer more higher-value services, covering more and newer industries that will need them. The opportunity for growth goes both ways, and will continue to expand.