When it comes to respected business publications, few have greater pedigree than Forbes. Founded more than 100 years ago, the global media company is renowned for its annual lists of richest Americans, top companies and most powerful people and has a reputation for setting the agenda and providing insightful commentary. Put simply, when Forbes speaks, people tend to listen.
So we come to today and the manner in which the publication recently defined what anyone who works in the healthcare industry already knows – times are tough.
“In 2022, US hospitals and health systems were up against some of the toughest financial headwinds since the pandemic began,” wrote health tech expert Seth Joseph 1. “Dried up federal public health emergency (PHE) funding, costlier inpatient stays, decreasing outpatient revenue and decreased demand for care, still hovering below pre-pandemic levels, are among the financial challenges hospitals and health systems face this year and will continue to face into the next.”
With growth in expenses vastly outpacing growth in revenues, the heat is well and truly on healthcare operators. For example, the United States’ three largest non-profit health systems all posted poor results in recent times, with Ascension reporting a $118 million loss in the third quarter of 2022, CommonSpirit $227 million and Trinity $550 million2.
This is supported by an American Health Association report that found hospital labor expenses increased by 20.8% between 2019 and 2022, largely on the back of a growing reliance on contract labor to fill workforce gaps during the pandemic3.
While the public may like to believe hospitals and healthcare providers solely exist to provide patient care, the reality is they are also businesses. In an environment where margins are low and patient expectations are high, it is a delicate balancing act to succeed at both and every option must be considered to ensure costs are managed in such a complex and evolving business climate.
Little wonder then that an increasing number of hospital and healthcare executives and managers are looking to healthcare outsourcing.
Outsourcing in healthcare refers to the practice of delegating certain tasks or services to external organizations or individuals. It involves the transfer of responsibilities such as medical billing, transcription, IT support or customer support to specialized third-party providers.
The numbers speak for themselves. As financial pressure builds on healthcare providers, a study of more than 500 hospitals and inpatient organizations found 90% of health executives are exploring cost savings by teaming with third-party vendors4. In turn, the healthcare outsourcing market is tipped to reach $312 billion by 20255 and the reasons for such growth are myriad.
The healthcare outsourcing industry offers a variety of solutions to meet such challenges.
There are a wide variety of healthcare roles and tasks that can be outsourced including:
The sector also lends itself to outsourcing opportunities across areas as diverse as:
Success is not guaranteed in outsourcing. Achieving great results starts with knowing your goals and there are several factors hospitals and healthcare practices should consider before partnering with a provider.
One size does not fit all in the world of healthcare outsourcing. What works for a tertiary hospital may not suit a rural medical clinic, let alone a one-person practice. For that reason, it is essential to seek out the outsourcing provider that best suits one’s needs.
Also, remember the right partner is just that – a working partner that will share their knowledge and insights to help you evaluate and improve processes and quality. They know their success lies in your success and trust and confidence is paramount. When outsourcing programs fail, it is typically due to poor working relationships between provider and partner. The good news? These tips mean you already have a head-start on how to find a suitable partner and nurture that relationship for your best benefit.
The US healthcare system is witnessing major shifts in government policy and the way the industry operates. Amid such revolutionary times, discover five trends that will influence the healthcare sector in the near future.
 Under Financial Pressure, How Are Health Systems Prioritizing Digital Health Investments? (forbes.com)
 2022 Was Hospitals' Worst Financial Year in Decades, But 2023 Won’t Be Much Better - MedCity News
 Hospitals' 'dire' financial situation, in 4 charts (advisory.com)
 Pressures of Value-Based Care Reforms Trigger Sharp Increase in Clinical Outsourcing Partnerships, Black Book Survey Results | Company Newsroom of Black Book Market Research (newswire.com)
 5+ Interesting Healthcare Outsourcing Statistics - FGC (fgcplus.com)
 The Cost Of Medical Billing Mistakes – Medical Billing Company – Boston, MA (medicalhealthcaresolutions.com)
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