Healthcare organizations face several staffing challenges, including shortages of qualified professionals, high turnover rates, and burnout. According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), the healthcare industry is facing a workforce shortage that’s expected to reach a deficit of 124,000 full-time physicians by 2034.
Outsourcing can provide healthcare organizations with a strategic solution to address these challenges and improve patient care. This article will discuss the current state of healthcare staffing challenges, the benefits of outsourcing healthcare staffing, potential cons and solutions, and the role of health certifications, licenses, and compliance in the outsourcing process.
The Current State of Healthcare Staffing Challenges
Healthcare organizations are grappling with several staffing challenges, such as shortages of qualified professionals, high turnover rates, and burnout. The MGMA reports that turnover rates for physicians and non-physician providers reached 7.7% and 12.6%, respectively, in 2021.
Furthermore, a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) highlights that physician burnout rates have been as high as 50% in recent years, affecting patient care, organizational performance, and financial sustainability. These challenges are exacerbated by the increasing demand for healthcare services and the ongoing global health crisis, making it more critical than ever for organizations to find innovative solutions to address these issues.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Healthcare Staffing
Outsourcing the staffing of patient support services experts has various advantages, including increased flexibility, cost savings, and access to specialized expertise. According to the MGMA, outsourcing can help reduce costs by 10% to 20% compared with hiring full-time staff. Furthermore, outsourcing can provide healthcare organizations with access to a global talent pool of highly skilled and trained professionals, which can help overcome workforce shortages and improve patient care.
Partnering with reputable business process outsourcers (BPOs) ensures customized solutions that cater to each organization’s unique requirements. Moreover, they are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and tools that streamline processes, reduce errors, and maintain the highest levels of accuracy and compliance.
In addition to cost savings and access to expertise, outsourcing healthcare staffing can also contribute to improved compliance with health certifications, licenses, and regulations. Partnering with leading BPOs that possess a strong people, process, technology, and security (PPTS) framework ensures outsourced staff is up to date with the latest technologies, certifications, licenses, and compliance requirements, which is crucial for maintaining high-quality patient care. This includes adhering to strict standards such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001, ISO 9000, and other local industry-specific regulations.
Healthcare & Hospitals Management (HHM) Global identifies other benefits of outsourcing healthcare services, such as increased operational efficiency and the ability to focus on core competencies. Outsourcing noncore functions allows healthcare organizations to concentrate on their primary mission of providing exceptional patient care. This, in turn, enables them to allocate their resources more effectively and efficiently, ensuring that in-house staff can focus on tasks that directly impact patient outcomes.
Diverse Healthcare Services That Can Be Outsourced
Outsourcing patient support services staffing isn’t limited to only clinical roles; it encompasses a wide range of services that can be effectively outsourced. These include:
- Patient support services
- Medical billing and coding
- Payment posting
- Denial management
- Patient collections
- Patient registration
- Patient eligibility and authorization
- Clinical documentation improvement (CDI)
- Claims submission
- Clinical abstractors
- Medical review specialists
- Implementation specialists
Each of these services comes with its own set of technicalities and requirements. Outsourcing these services to experienced BPO providers with a strong PPTS framework ensures healthcare organizations have access to a global pool of experts with specialized expertise and up-to-date knowledge of certifications, licenses, and compliance requirements.
Potential Cons and Solutions
Despite the benefits of outsourcing healthcare staffing, there are potential cons, such as delays in service delivery and the need for worker training. To mitigate these drawbacks, healthcare organizations should implement robust project management and communication systems, ensuring clear expectations and timelines. Additionally, organizations should invest in proper training and onboarding for outsourced staff to ensure they are well equipped to provide high-quality patient care.
Another potential concern when outsourcing healthcare staffing is the risk of compromised data security and privacy. Healthcare organizations must work closely with BPO partners to ensure they comply with stringent security measures, such as HIPAA, ISO 27001, ISO 9000, and GDPR regulations. This can help protect sensitive patient information and maintain the integrity of healthcare services.
The NCBI study also addresses the importance of ensuring outsourced services align with the organization’s values and culture. Establishing clear expectations and fostering a strong working relationship with the BPO partner can contribute to a successful outsourcing experience.
By partnering with leading BPOs that possess a strong PPTS framework, healthcare organizations can access a pool of highly skilled and trained professionals, ensuring their outsourced services are performed better than what they could achieve independently. This collaboration allows healthcare organizations to focus on their core competencies while outsourcing partners handle the staffing challenges, leading to improved patient care, organizational performance, and financial sustainability. Ultimately, the synergy of the PPTS framework and outsourcing presents a transformative solution to the complex staffing challenges healthcare organizations face today.
As the Vice President of People Operations and Transformation for Infinit-O, Flo Lenoir guides agile teams to develop and leverage powerful technological tools to drive world-leading results in technology, financial, and healthcare services. His broad range of classical business education, with master’s degrees from ESC Rennes Business School in France, Ateneo De Manila in the Philippines, and Hanyang University in South Korea, provides a strong foundation to spearhead any team into the cutting-edge realm of process optimization.