By: Audrey B.
Driven by healthcare reform that is sweeping the nation with mixed results, many outsourcing companies are employing different strategies that will place them in an advantageous position in the market, considering the increasing competition in healthcare related outsourcing services such as electronic health records, or automation of medical billing services from many global companies.
Major outsourcing companies have identified healthcare as a key area for growth and while some say that the unprecedented growth last year was merely a fluke, many companies are betting the other way, with healthcare moving along as one of their areas of concern. Wipro Technologies’ CEO, T.K. Kurien is one of those seeing potential in healthcare. Kurien has advised that the company is focusing on healthcare as well as the financial services, segments which he says they have identified as an area of “hyper growth”. Wipro Technologies is the IT unit of Wipro Ltd. (NYSE:WIT). Meanwhile, fellow outsourcer, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (NSE:TCS) has also identified healthcare as an area of focus, as it set up its own U.S. unit last year which would service the U.S. government’s healthcare market. The company is now currently looking for acquisitions that will move it along in that direction. Other providers in the space include Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HP) (NYSE:HPQ).
Many companies, on the other hand, in answer to the requirement to transition from paper-based healthcare records to digital records, are focusing on the development of new technologies that will answer not just this requirement, but will also automate some processes in the healthcare cycle. One such company is Banctec who, as part of its acquisition of MediStreams, recently unveiled its Healthcare Remittance Automation solution during the HIMSS 2011. According to Chuck Corbin, the company’s vice president, Banctec is applying its “large-scale BPO experience and payment processing expertise to address the most frustrating remittance challenges that healthcare providers face,” – a problem that surely many a healthcare provider can relate to. Aside from Healthcare Remittance Automation, the company also showcased its healthcare claims processing, and medical records processing automation offerings.
Colorado based outsourcing company, CIBER (NYSE:CBR) meanwhile, is implementing IT solutions to “mobilize the enterprise” as it unveiled its mobile solution for healthcare. The company announced on the 21st of February that it is partnering with Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. to develop a mobile solution on the Apple iPad for an Enterprise Mobile Framework that automates the sales process. CSC (NYSE:CSC) on the other hand, is partnering with Business Rules Management Systems (BRMS) provider, Corticon Technologies in order to provide real-time clinical surveillance and reporting for hospitals . Careveillance, the Corticon-powered CSC solution identifies and alerts physicians to patients that show symptoms of high risk conditions such as sepsis or pneumonia.
Med DataCare Pro on the other hand, a Dallas-based healthcare service provider is maximizing on a different approach by creating a network of home based billers in order to offer an onshore solution. According to the Med Datacare Pro CEO and managing partner, “This network will revolutionize the healthcare outsourcing scenario because of its adaptability and value addition to all parties concerned.” This will likely pose an attractive solution for medical institutions seeking an onshore outsourcing partner that can provide the necessary services.
All in all, the demand for healthcare related outsourcing services are being answered in different ways by different outsourcing companies. While some adopt riskier methods and strategies that may or may not pay off in the long run, medical institutions will at least be assured of the abundance of options that await them in the drive to foster a more cost-effective, but reliable healthcare process.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.