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IT Outsourcing Companies Jump on Healthcare Bandwagon


By Audrey B.

While business process outsourcing companies providing healthcare outsourcing services such as medical billing solutions and hospital medical coding, are ramping up their efforts in order to maximize on the opportunities presented by the health reform, IT outsourcing companies are also jumping on the healthcare bandwagon to maximize on the information technology side of the deal.

Outsourcing provider Tata Consultancy Services (NSE:TCS) announced on the 15th of November that it will be focusing on healthcare, as well as government and retail in the software product space to drive revenues for the company.  According to N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and Managing Director of TCS, “We are now focusing on software products for government/healthcare and retail sectors.”

Other companies such as New Delhi based IT solutions organization, NIIT Technologies (NSE:NIITTECH) penned partnerships and acquired companies who will complement their services as they move towards the healthcare space.  The company announced on the 9th of November that it is currently in the market for a company or software product that will help the company obtain healthcare outsourcing contracts.  On the other hand, privately held healthcare IT company, TriZetto, announced plans to sign a strategic partnership on the 17th of November with clinical analytics developer, MEDai, Inc. a subsidiary of Elsevier, business segment of Reed Elsevier (NYSE:RUK).  The companies are hoping that the proposed partnership would provide them with a “robust, member-centric analytics,” according to Jeff Rideout, MD and Chief Medical Officer of TriZetto.  Meanwhile, Wolters Kluwer Health of Wolters Kluwer (AMS:WKL) announced that it is acquiring healthcare Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider, Pharmacy OneSource on the 29th of November, in order for Wolters Kluwer Health to extend its point of care solutions.

Among solutions providers, software company Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN) is also maximizing on the opportunity in the healthcare market with its expansion of its clinical documentations solutions portfolio.  The company announced on the 26th of November that it is introducing the Nuance transcription services, which utilizes speech enabled medical transcription.

And while others are still realigning their services and solutions to accommodate the demand for improved quality of healthcare, other companies are enjoying successes in the space, winning new contracts and contract extensions.

Medical transcription services provider Webmedx announced on the 23rd of November that the Austin Regional Clinic (NYSE:ARC) is implementing Webmedx’s full suite of clinical documentation technology and services across its clinics.  According to Chris Cashwell Senior Vice President of Client Development, “Like many healthcare providers, the integration of front-end speech recognition alongside traditional dictation and transcription was a key driver for ARC.”

Numerous IT outsourcing contracts in the healthcare space have also been renewed this month, including contract extensions between CareTech Solutions and Ohio-based non-profit, Blanchard Valley Health System, on the 9th of November, Phoenix Health Systems and Civista Health Inc. on the 22nd of November; and Lionbridge Technologies (NASDAQ:LIOX) and healthcare services provider, Golden Living on the 29th of November.

But while there has been significant headway among technology outsourcing in the healthcare sector, there are still qualms over security and privacy, as evidenced by the current controversy around the e-health outsourcing plan in London.  According to Issam Thabit, the whistleblower amid the controversy, “There is definitely concerns on privacy, there is definitely concerns on security and there is definitely concerns on performance of the system.”

Given however that there is truly a need for a revamp on the healthcare system, it would be unlikely that healthcare organizations would forego outsourcing as an alternative, which is good news not just for healthcare outsourcing companies, such as medical billing and medical coding companies, but also IT outsourcing companies providing healthcare and IT solutions to healthcare providers.

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