Outsourcing - A Cost Cutting Tool for Hospitals
All organizations resort to cost cutting measures for improving their operating margins. Hospitals too are no exception. Of late, hospitals in the U.S. are found to be facing turbulent times in meeting their financial objectives.
Bleak economic prospects, drastic cut on healthcare budgets, the threat of an impending recession and a sudden growth in demand expected for better healthcare services with the implementation of the new healthcare policy are cited as major causes for this drawback. To wriggle out, they resort to knee jerk reactions like cutting variable costs or even postponing its capital expenditure programs without any significant gains.
Hospitals need to look beyond short term measures in order to save taxpayers’ money. For providing healthcare more efficiently it should look for ways and means to improve its billing practices, set right documentation tasks and obtain better turnaround times. With the budget constraints it is facing today, they should tap all avenues for improving its margins. What these hospitals really need to take up are stringent measures to build up its operating efficiencies that will improve its Return on Investment (ROI). Outsourcing offers an excellent opportunity in that direction. Quality and turnaround time is closely knit phenomenon requiring human involvement and there is no platform better than outsourcing for attaining its objectives.
Coming out of the Blue
Today, reimbursement issues and claim denials are a major cause of strain in the financial health of hospitals. Deficiencies in billing and coding practices are on the rise resulting in major revenue loss to hospitals. Offshore medical transcription services can play a prominent role here. Today they are quality-certified, have advanced software and efficient manpower to execute the processes error free, saving hospitals from making huge capital investments. Also they are well equipped to draw up plans to carry out these tasks accurately that can arrest delays and minimize rejections of reimbursement claims.
With the Electronic Health Records poised to play a very vital role in healthcare management soon, offshore outsourcing would be in the forefront with its cheap manpower and low cost overheads. In fact hospitals have already started outsourcing data storage through remote services and cloud computing. Outsourcing firms are able to accommodate these increasing assignments thanks to greater economies of scale available to them. Similarly, Speech Recognition technology is a well recognized driving force behind cost reduction. Increasing dependence on this cutting edge technology would certainly help hospitals to increase its ROI. With Speech Recognition, some of the leading hospitals have been able to bring down turnaround times by almost 50 percent. This technology coupled with digital dictation, have in fact changed the face of Medical transcription services.
Outsourcing addresses cost restructuring and cost saving issues of hospitals. It saves money through reduced turnaround time and minimum inventory levels that free hospital resources enabling them to focus on the core function i.e., patient care. Undoubtedly, good strategies of outsourcing always maximize revenue which in turn contributes to further improvement in quality of healthcare.
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