Medical outsourcing in its simplest form is having nonessential healthcare related jobs done by an offsite party. There are two main ways to achieve this style of outsourcing, the use of freelancers and by partnering with a remote staffing company. Each has its pros and cons along with certain jobs that can be done more easily if you choose one or the other.
Remote Staffing Companies
To better understand medical outsourcing, you need to first understand how BPOs operate (business process outsourcing). They are companies that specialize in hiring and maintaining remote workers for other companies. Think of them as HR and IT companies for remote staff. How it works is simple, you partner with one, give them the requirements of your wanted staff, they recruit, screen, assess, then you get to do the interview and pick. This process varies in length due to factors such as: job type, salary, and job requirements. After the new staff is chosen and given a contract, they get a workstation prepared for them and then training can begin.
- HR and IT concerns are shouldered by the BPO
- Access to a whole new pool of talent
- Recruitment is done by a team of professional recruiters
- Recruitment time is much faster than usual due to the recruitment process (depends on the job, i.e.: customer service agents can be hired in as little as 1-2 weeks)
- Time and energy can be focused on training and operations
- Lower costs per employee
- You operations can run around the clock
- Losing some aspects of control
- Possible scheduling conflicts (timelines may need to be shifted)
- Communication can be a problem
- Cultural differences may impede certain tasks
As the name implies, freelance remote staff aren’t affiliated with a company, they work for themselves. They can be anyone, anywhere in the world. Some freelancers are just starting out and need training but will accept lower pay than someone who has years of experience in order to get that training, on the other side of that same coin you can get someone who has years of work experience in an industry who is asking for a higher amount. The freelancer realm hosts a sea of options and it’s up to you to search for someone who can get the job done.
- Autonomy when working with experienced freelancers
- Can be hired on a per project basis (and can be extended for more money)
- If the right person is found, it could be the best cost/quality option
- No long term contracts (not locked in to any agreement)
- More control over the hiring process
- Recruitment is time consuming
- Generally more expensive than hiring through a BPO
- Security Risks
- You provide the oversight
- Control over staff might be an issue
Although medical coding and billing are related, they are two different tasks. Medical Coders take medical documents and translate them into code for a medical biller to process. A Medical Biller takes the codes given by the Medical Coder and basically writes a bill for insurance companies.
Once you have a Medical Coder/Biller who is trained in all the codes you need, you basically just give them workload and let them work. In order to do this successfully, it’s always recommended to have an end goal in mind and some KPIs to measure the progress of hitting that goal. Some BPOs have an Accounts Manager that looks after your staff and will give you updates weekly or monthly. After a few weeks of monitoring them and their progress it is important to make sure they are on the right track, any recalibrations that need to be done should be done as early as possible. Once stable, you have full control over your staff and when your business grows, you now have a team in place to do the training for the job.
Medical professionals who spend too much time transcribing their voice notes might want to look into getting a Medical Transcriptionist. MT’s have been trained to transcribe and create all sorts of medical documents. This saves your on site medical staff precious time. Instead of transcribing the notes while on break or for a couple of hours, they could be on the floor caring for patients.
Just like Medical Coders/Billers you need to have your MT trained the way you want them to perform. The basics of how it works is, the audio files are given to the staff or put into some sort of online storage or cloud system like google drive, then when the transcription is on duty, they just play a recording and start transcribing. Any other files that need to be transcribed can also be listed to ensure they’re completed.
Medical Virtual Assistant
The term jack of all trades is thrown around a lot these days with mostly negative connotations, but that couldn’t be further from the truth in this case. A medical VA can do the above listed jobs and more. Some of the other duties given to them include prescription refills, insurance verification, helping with scheduling patients, medical data entry, and other admin style tasks.
Think of what executive assistants do in offices, then add all the medical listed jobs above and that is essentially how a medical VA would function. As mentioned before, calibration is done to make sure that all tasks given are done correctly and within a given timeframe. In the event that more tasks are to be added, some training may need to be given and just a slight recalibration and then the VA is ready to move forward.
In essence, whether you go with an BPO or decide to hire a freelancer, you need to ready a list of requirements for your chosen staff. Think of handling remote staff like an in office staff member and you’ll have a much better time. No matter your chosen staff the end goal should be the same, to have a remote staff working efficiently in order to handle the onsite medical personnel’s backend tasks so that the front liners can see more patients.