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Outsourcing Health Care Services: Pros & Cons

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As operational costs continue to rise, an increasing number of hospitals are turning to outsourcing as a way to mitigate their expenses. So much so in fact, that the global healthcare BPO market was valued at $334.15 billion USD in 2021 and is projected to more than double to $755.76 billion by 2030.

In this article, we’ll delve into healthcare outsourcing to explain what it is and how it works.

We’ll also list some key outsourcing healthcare services pros and cons to be aware of when deciding if it’s right for you.

 

What is Outsourcing in Healthcare?

Outsourcing in healthcare is the process of contracting with a third-party provider to perform certain functions or services. 

This can range from non-clinical tasks such as human resource management, technical IT support and services, patient appointment setting, compliance monitoring or billing and coding, to more clinical services like home health care or physical therapy.

 

Want to Know if Healthcare Outsourcing Will Work for Your Practice or Facility?

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Who Uses Outsourced Healthcare Services, and Why?

There are many reasons why healthcare providers choose to outsource certain functions.

In some cases, it may be because the provider does not have the internal resources or skill sets to perform the task in-house. For example, a small hospital might not have the staff or budget to handle all of their employee and patient communication needs internally.

In other cases, it may be because the provider feels that they can receive more qualified talent or a higher quality of service by outsourcing to a specialist.

 

Outsourcing Healthcare Services Pros and Cons

Like any big business decision, choosing whether or not to outsource your healthcare facility’s production operations should only be done after due diligence.

Consider this breakdown of pros and cons to better understand if healthcare outsourcing is right for you.

 

The Pros of Outsourced Healthcare Services

There are many advantages to be reaped by outsourcing medical services for your hospital or clinic which include:

1. Cost-Savings

One of the primary advantages of outsourcing healthcare functions is that it offers a more cost-effective solution than maintaining an in-house department.

When you outsource, it shifts many expenses from CapEx to OpEx and provides the scalability and flexibility to only pay for the services you need, when you need them. This can free up a significant amount of capital and overhead expenses that would otherwise be devoted to staff salaries, benefits, and training.

2. Wider Talent Pool

Outsourcing Health Care Services

Finding good talent can be hard enough in general, let alone in healthcare where the competition is even more fierce.

By outsourcing healthcare service functions for your facility, you tap into a wider pool of talent than might be available to you otherwise, especially if you are located in a remote or tertiary market where talent pools are thin. Outsourcing some of your healthcare services gives you a better chance of finding the right person for the job, and also helps to ensure that you have the necessary skills on staff when you need them.

3. Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity

A successful outsourcing plan can also improve the efficiency and productivity of your healthcare facility. When you outsource non-core functions, such as incoming calls to a call center or human services team, you free up your staff to focus on more important tasks.

What’s more, by delegating things like medical billing, transcription, and even IT support to outsourcing partners, you can take advantage of their expertise and experience.

4. Improved Quality of Care

When you outsource to a company that specializes in a certain area of healthcare, you can be sure that they’re well-equipped to handle any needs that may arise. This improved level of patient care can lead to increased satisfaction and, as a result, more business for your facility.

5. A Competitive Edge

Hospitals in the United States are businesses too, and at the end of the day, they need to be able to afloat.

One way to keep the lights on and focus on patient care is to outsource services that are not essential to your facility’s core mission. This allows you to focus your energies on providing the best possible care to your patients.

 

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The Cons of Healthcare Outsourcing

Despite the many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to outsourcing your healthcare services which include:

1. Risk or Difficulty of Monitoring Quality

When you outsource your health care services, you are relying on another company to provide a service that is crucial to your patients.

This can be difficult to manage, as you are not in control of the quality of care that your patients receive. It is important to partner with a reputable outsourcing company that has a good track record of providing quality care.

2. Loss of Control

When you outsource a function, you’re essentially handing over the reins to someone else.

This can be a difficult pill to swallow for some healthcare organizations and facility managers who are used to having complete control over their operations. It is important you pick a partner that has SLAs in place to meet your expectations for the customer experience (CX), and can act as an extension of your team.

3. Initial Upfront Work

Outsourcing health care services can sometimes result in more upfront work for your team.

When you outsource, you are working with a larger company that may have different protocols and procedures in place and those must be married to your systems and procedures to provide a seamless experience to your patients and employees. To ensure your patients and employees receive the same level of user experience that you require, you’ll want to pick a partner that integrates with your systems and creates knowledge bases and protocols that match your values.

4. Not Always Less Expensive

One of the main reasons that facilities opt for health care outsourcing is to save money.

Although many times you can save money, it is not always the case. In some instances, outsourcing can actually end up costing you more money than if you were to perform the function in-house, but the shifting of overhead and human capital to more technologically advanced processes over time can save you on the  bottom line.

It is important to carefully consider your unique circumstances and potential partners before making a decision on what areas to outsource..

Outsourcing in Healthcare

 

Choose the Right Healthcare Outsourcing for Your Facility

In search of a simple, straightforward and turnkey solution to your hospital’s operational needs?  Look no further than Buchanan.

As a market leader in medical BPO, we provide a comprehensive suite of services that can be customized to meet your specific needs. From managing patient data and responding to data breaches to providing long term non-clinical support, we offer many benefits of medical outsourcing services with none of the downsides.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your health care outsourcing.

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