Thursday, December 14

Outsourcing Companies Bet On Healthcare Despite Security Concerns

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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.

Audrey B is a Strategic Solutions Executive of Infinit Outsourcing, one of the leading outsourcing companies that offer boutique healthcare solutions. Infinit Outsourcing provides medical billing services to small and and medium sized enterprises who are seeking a dedicated partner.

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