Supporting U.S. Headquartered Healthcare Offshore BPO Companies Makes Good Business Sense
U.S. based healthcare BPO companies in the Philippines and other countries are contributing to economic growth and prosperity around the globe. The financial benefit offshore BPO companies create extends beyond the host country. U.S. based employees benefit because there is a need to manage the services delivered through offshore locations in the U.S. The American worker is not the only one who benefits from a growing global strategy. U.S. Healthcare providers who use cost-effective offshore strategies benefit in several ways:
– Delivery of services, such as medical coding can keep up with healthcare’s growing demand, even though there aren’t enough qualified U.S. employees to fill those highly skilled jobs
– Providers benefit by reducing operating costs so existing services can be delivered at the same level without resorting to employee layoffs
– U.S. citizens benefit by receiving better care because providers can leverage operating costs savings and invest in advanced technologies and the best and brightest care providers
Not everyone is in favor of outsourcing work overseas, however the atmosphere is changing. Offshore BPO outsourcing soon will becoming less of a lightning rod than it has been reported Manufacturing and Technology News. U.S. federal agencies involved in economic data are on the verge of a major and transformative change in the way they classify companies that have outsourced their U.S. production to foreign manufacturing and service contractors.
The change could radically increase U.S. production statistics by classifying “factoryless goods producers” as domestic manufacturers. Companies like Apple will no longer be considered “wholesale traders,” and their sales would be counted as U.S. production, even though none of their manufacturing is in the United States.
The changes now being finalized by the U.S. government would be implemented in the 2017 North America Industry Classification System when factory-less goods and services producers will be classified as U.S. producers. The new classification system of manufacturers would introduce “significant discontinuity” to a wide range of statistics gathered by the government, say those involved. This same change in classification will affect those American companies who own and run offshore service centers.
The practice of outsourcing is as old as business itself. A 19th-century manufacturing company might have had its own machines but not its own fleet of horse-drawn drays to distribute its wares. Today, many U.S. citizens, American companies and State run organizations still assail work performed by offshore manufacturers and service delivery companies. That sentiment hasn’t slowed the growth, acceptance and economic boon offshore outsourcing has experienced.
Those who question the strategy of global outsourcing should consider how their lives would be different without it. It is commonplace to buy goods and receive services from around the globe. For example, consumers don’t give it a second thought when they purchase a Canon Camera that is made in China, a Blackberry Cellphone that is made in Canada, Clinique Makeup made in Belgium and even produce imported from Chile. How many people would own iPhone’s today if they cost $2,500? If they were manufactured exclusively in the U.S., they likely would cost that much or more.
The State of New Jersey has taken a different approach to addressing the growing trend of offshore outsourcing of services. Due to its 2005 State law that prohibits foreign outsourcing of State services contracts, New Jersey residents won’t experience any of the benefits offshore service providers can offer. New Jersey’s decision to outlaw outsourcing of State services has created quite the conundrum.
When President Obama attends a State run event wearing one of his expensive Ermenegildo Zegna suits, made from fabrics in Italy and constructed in Switzerland, is he acting un-American by attending a State run event wearing goods that were made offshore?
Is it un-American to support U.S. based companies who deliver services from offshore locations? Should State run or non-profit healthcare providers shun offshore BPO outsourcers? It isn’t an easy decision to make for some providers. When deciding to offshore or not offshore BPO work, decision makers should consider how the global economy has changed their own purchases and their quality of life.
Many of the products and services purchased from the neighborhood Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target, or grocery store comes from across the globe. It’s becoming more difficult to find products and services exclusively made or delivered in the U.S.A. Many manufacturers such as BMW are leveraging a blended-shore approach by manufacturing their parts in Germany and assembling their cars in South Carolina. Many industries have embraced a global business strategy. Perhaps it’s the time for healthcare providers to consider expanding the use of offshore outsourcers.
Note: I’m a patriot and I feel fortunate to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world. I am pro-American and I want to see our economy flourish. That said, our country is competing on a global stage where business competition is the major driver for operational strategy adjustments and change. American businesses need to be more nimble than ever. Healthcare providers need to do the same. In order to maintain their mission, medical providers must deliver the margin to stay in business. If offshore outsourcing helps providers stay competitive and thrive, then the strategy should be carefully considered.
Phil C. Solomon is a healthcare finance, clinical documentation and revenue cycle BPO strategist with experience spanning two decades. Phil has expertise in the areas of revenue cycle optimization, clinical documentation improvement, healthcare technology integration and BPO outsourcing. He is the publisher of Revenue Cycle News, a healthcare revenue cycle blog and is a featured speaker at many HFMA, NAHAM and AAHAM healthcare educational conferences.