The healthcare industry is set to see an increase in back office outsourcing. There are so many important activities that go on in a healthcare organization’s back office and having strong support is essential to keep things running efficiently. Partnering with the right back office outsourcing company can transform medical practice back offices by reducing cumbersome paper-based tasks, improving patient record management, cutting administrative costs, and enhancing the ability to deliver quality care while growing revenue. By supporting the digitization of your back office, outsourcing can ensure that it works along with your front office to deliver an excellent customer experience.
According to a report from Markets and Markets, the global healthcare BPO market is expected to reach a value of USD 468.5 billion by 2026 from USD 296.4 billion in 2021, at a CAGR of 9.6% during the forecast period. Let’s take a look at how outsourcing solutions benefit medical offices.
- Revenue cycle management (RCM): This covers everything from patient registration, insurance verifications and authorizations, medical billing and coding, payment posting, and claims submission to AR management and more.
- Medical coding support: With constantly changing ICD-10 and CPT codes, including the potential move to ICD-11, physicians need solid support to translate services rendered into the correct codes. Medical coding companies have AAPC certified coding professionals who can turn clinical documentation into the right codes.
- Medical billing services: Outsourcing billing and collections functions can help physicians file claims accurately and in a timely manner, and increase practice revenue. A recent report from Reportlinker.com predicts that the global medical billing outsourcing market will reach US $21.1 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 11% over the period 2020-2027.
- Document scanning and data entry: Scanning solutions provided by reliable BPO companies ensure that patient records are captured accurately, eliminating concerns about losing or misplacing data and files. BPO companies use high-tech equipment, including image cleanup technology, for accurate data collection and organization. Medical record scanning and indexing ensures that the required data is readily available and promotes efficient decision making and collaboration across the organization – among patient admission stations, the front desk, and the back office. All scanned patient records are safely uploaded to the EMR so that is available throughout the system, saving staff time and minimizing paper use. Outsourcing services for healthcare also include medical data entry services. Medical data entry specialists provide quick and accurate data capture for clinical and image records, charge entry, handwritten notes, demographic information, and all other healthcare records. Error-free data entry is crucial for efficient record management and claims submission. Partnering with a reliable company will ensure documentation that meets all healthcare industry guidelines and regulations.
- Insurance verification and authorization: One of the most important challenges faced by medical practices is getting claims approved by insurance. Clinical documentation should be submitted with the correct diagnosis and procedure codes along with documentation to support medical necessity for services provided. Importantly, physicians also need comprehensive preauthorization and insurance verification services to determine patient coverage and benefits under their insurance plan. This is crucial to prevent eligibility problems which are one of the main reasons for claims denial. Outsourcing insurance verification and authorization to experts will ensure verification of patients’ payable benefits; co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles; plan exclusions, lifetime maximum, and preauthorizations as well as patient demographic information and other details. Verifying patients’ active coverage correctly is critical for clean claims submission and to receive accurate reimbursement for healthcare services.
- Medical transcription: Physician burnout is the result of spending excessive time on medical record documentation, reviewing notes, and creating detailed patient reports from notes during the patient visit. Entering data in the EHR during the encounter also prevents physicians from focusing on their patients. Medical transcription outsourcing provides the solution to these issues. Leading service providers have experienced certified medical transcriptionists who can ensure complete, accurate and timely documentation of dictated reports in the EHR. These services are available for all medical specialties.
- IT support: Healthcare BPO also includes IT support. Medical offices need efficient healthcare information technology to manage health-related information and improve care delivery. By delivering more accurate information, the use of technology systems, including electronic health records and computerized orders, can prevent errors and significantly improve the quality of care that patients receive. IT also improves communication between healthcare providers and patients, improves medication management, and provides patients with easy access to their records.
- HR and Payroll: Recruitment process outsourcing helps healthcare organizations get the right talent and skills for their operations. Advances in medical technology and innovation has resulted in new areas in prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and case management. Partnering with a healthcare outsourcing service provider can help organizations attract, hire and retain specialized talent. HR outsourcing solutions also include employee onboarding, training, attendance tracking, and attrition management. Payroll management involves managing payroll for all staff, including different salary plans, advances, bonuses and allowances, flexipay, and taxation in compliance with updated regulations. Outsourcing payroll can simplify and streamline administration tasks for HR teams and employees. Outsourcing HR and payroll is especially relevant for small to small to medium-size organizations that don’t have the space or funds for in-house auxiliary departments like finance and payroll, notes Deloitte. Over the last two years, back office services helped medical office deal with pandemic driven worker shortages
The key benefits of outsourced solutions for medical practice back offices are:
- Saves time and money
- Provides access to the latest technology and systems
- A team of skilled professionals without the costs of maintaining full-time employees and additional office space and equipment
- Improved productivity and streamlined operations
- Adherence to best practices
- Stronger compliance with regulatory changes in outsourced areas
- Comprehensive support to stay competitive and relevant
- Reduces wasted time and resources and allows focus on the core task of patient care
The success of outsourcing in healthcare ultimately depends on balancing in-house resources and outsourcing services to efficiently manage essential operations.