Rising Healthcare Costs and Outsourcing | healthcare

The cost of healthcare in the US has been steadily increasing in the past few years, and according to some projections by consultancy firms, the trend will continue. This has lead to increasing acceptance of outsourcing by different hospitals and healthcare providers across the country. Information technology, medical transcription, medical billing, and medical coding outsourcing have been increasing in response to the need to reduce cost.Healthcare Costs On the RiseOn the 15th of September, New York based consultancy firm, Towers Watson (NYSE:TW), projected an 8.2% increase in employer health care costs for 2011. According to Ron Fontanetta, senior health care consultant with Towers Watson, “Employees today are adjusting to historically lower-than-average merit pay increases, while at the same time facing higher health care contributions, copays and deductibles. This combination could adversely affect many employees and intensify the growing affordability crisis.”Meanwhile, Chicago based company, Hewitt Associates (NYSE:HEW), estimates that it may be as much as 9%. In Chicago, the projection is as high as 12.4%. The figure is the highest it’s been in five years.In a statement by Hewitt’s health care practice leader Ken Sperling said, “Employers continue to struggle to balance the significant health care needs of an aging workforce with the economic realities of a difficult business environment.”The report attributes the increase to an aging workforce, coupled with increasing costs of technology as well as the health care reform act.Cost And OutsourcingThere’s certainly no doubt that the cost of healthcare is increasing and in response, healthcare providers and hospitals are struggling to maximize revenue while minimizing expenses in order to reduce the cost on consumers.One example is Hendrick Medical Center, who, on the 7th of September, signed a managed service and recruitment process outsourcing contract with AMN Healthcare Services (NYSE:AHS). Ralph Henderson, AMN President for the Nursing and Allied divisions, said that the contract would result in, “lower bill rates and operational costs, reduced liability and mitigated insurance risks, and increased compliance with clinical standards.”Outsourcers in the meantime are expanding into the healthcare space in order to take advantage of the opportunity.As MaryAnne Pace, co-founder of company, Health BluePrints stated, “Healthcare providers are looking for solutions to increase net cash, achieve revenue cycle performance improvement, enhance operational efficiency, and improve overall patient and physician satisfaction.” The company was recently acquired by NCO Group, who along with the acquisition also released a new end-to-end Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) solution on the 13th of September.Another company moving into the healthcare space is Tricom India (NSE:TRICOM), who is currently acquiring US healthcare service provider GTESS Corporation. The news announced on the 14th of September came after Tricom India announced that it recently secured a five-year contract from a US-based healthcare firm for $10 million. Meanwhile, Conifer Health Solutions also announced an acquisition on the 28th of September. The company is acquiring MediHealth Outsourcing in order to strengthen its position in the healthcare outsourcing space.Healthcare NumbersAs the trend of rising healthcare continues, healthcare providers and hospitals are looking to reduce costs, and at this point one of the solutions they are turning to is outsourcing – an opportunity that outsourcers are gearing to take advantage of. Healthcare, just like any other business, has to worry about the numbers.

List Building For Online Business Success | online business

In the current struggling economy of job cuts, pay freezes and ever increasing taxes, more and more new online entrepreneurs are starting their own work-from-home online businesses to supplement their income. These digital entrepreneurs can then start their escape plan from confines of their traditional day job, as their online business grows and becomes more profitable. They can enjoy a new lifestyle, working for themselves, when they want and from where they want.But online business success is not a guarantee. Just because you have a website and some products and services to sell does not mean that the sales and money will come rolling in. The fundamental key for any online business success is to have a list of customers who have bought from you, will buy again or are interested in what you have to offer and will buy from you in the future. This list, normally made up of names and email addresses, is your business. If you have no customers, you have no business.List Building for Online Business Success Entrepreneurs who sell products and services online are often known as affiliates. Some affiliates have lists with tens of thousands of names. Others may only have a few thousand. The affiliate,s online business success comes from the influence that he or she has on that list, not necessarily the number of people on it. If you have influence on a list of 500 people, it can be more valuable than if you have a list of 10,000 to whom you have no influence.
Do the subscribers on your list listen to you?
Do they act on what you suggest?
Do they care when your email arrives in their inbox?
Do you provide them with value?
Online Business Success comes from building a relationship with your listConsider this. Would you listen to a radio station that just broadcast advertisements? Would watch a TV channel that just showed commercials or read a newspaper that was only made up of advertisements. It is doubtful that you would. In the same way, if you are sending out emails and you just bombard your subscribers with hard sell messages, you readers will soon get tired of them and tune out.But if you have built a relationship with your list by providing them with relevant and valuable information, they wil start to realise that you have interesting things to say that provide benefit to them. Building a relationship builds trust. So when you recommend a product or service that you think is good, they will respect your judgement, investigate, and maybe buy, the product for themselves.Starting your list buildingSo if online business success comes from list building, how do you get people on your list in the first place?There are a set step of rules:
You have to drive potential subscriber traffic to a web page that enables people to sumit their name and email address
You have to offer something of value in exchange for their name and email address
Once on your list, you have to continually provide value to your subscribers.
If you want online business success, your list building process needs to be based on giving away helpful and informative information in exchange for a an established relationship. Most customers require 7 to 12 exposures to your products and services before they are going to consider making a purchase.Building an online business does involve work and effort. But it is important to remember that it costs far more to get a new customer in terms of time effort and money that it will to make a sale to a customer that you have already earned trust and a relationship with. As long as you can build a steady list of customers who keep coming back to you and you continue to look after them, you will find online business success.

Outsourcing Companies Bet On Healthcare Despite Security Concerns | healthcare

If it’s not about healthcare reform, it’s about information technology. Whichever the case, both indicate that healthcare outsourcing is expected to garner a lot of business this year – and healthcare outsourcing providers such as medical coding or medical billing companies know it.Taking into account recent results released by Indian software provider Tata Consultancy Services (NSE:TCS), the company took note that in its last quarter ending December 31st 2010, one of its key wins was a multi-million dollar, multi-year strategic partnership with a healthcare company to provide knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) services in clinical development.Meanwhile, fellow outsourcer and IT solutions provider HCL Technologies (NSE:HCLTECH), who reported quarterly results on the 19th of January, announced strong growth in its healthcare vertical at 7.4%, on top of its better than expected results for the quarter.In terms of the healthcare reform, human resources and recruitment services provider Pinstripe, Inc. has revamped its leadership team with the appointment of Michael Soisson to Healthcare Practice Leader. According to the release dated 18th of January, the appointment will, “drive and promote innovative talent acquisition approaches for meeting the workforce demands being shaped by healthcare reform.”Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX) on the other hand is maximizing its solutions with its acquisition of company, WaterWare Internet Services announced on the 31st of January. Waterware is a provider of web application and software development, integration and customization. The acquisition improves on Xerox’s existing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform, allowing the company to provide electronic health record capturing and management, as well as pharmacy orders automation, maximizing on the electronic health records trend.Fellow outsourcers Vengroff, Williams and Associates also announced an expansion of its healthcare practice specifically in its revenue cycle management solutions. The release quotes research by Healthcare Finance News, which cited that, “the major complaint among hospital CEO’s and private medical practices lies in the inefficiency of the billing system.” The company has in turn improved on its revenue cycle management services to address this issue.But while more and more companies are focusing and revamping healthcare outsourcing efforts, a survey just recently released by Ponemon Institute as sponsored by data integration company, Informatica (NASDAQ:INFA) on the 1st of February revealed that more than half of healthcare companies do not protect patient data. The survey of healthcare IT professionals found that confidential patient records are not adequately protected from theft or loss, with most at 51% not protecting their data. The research further added that the conception is that outsourcing and cloud computing are increasing the security risk to confidential data, wherein 40% of healthcare organizations would not choose to outsource specifically due to security risks.Even with the current uptick in business in healthcare outsourcing, old concerns specifically issues on security have remained in the industry. Considering that more than half from the survey are not seeing outsourcing as an option specifically due to security concerns in a time when we are seeing increasing adoption of outsourcing in healthcare suggests that the current growth seen is merely a fraction of the true potential that the healthcare industry presents. The challenge now lies in overcoming the issue on security in order to secure higher growth.