What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing can help your practice lower costs, innovate, and grow. Outsourcing is the business practice of contracting with an outside entity to take care of certain tasks instead of hiring new employees or assigning those tasks to existing staff. It’s a popular way for businesses to lower operational costs and streamline operations while still handling important functions. This is often used by large businesses but in private medical practices, it has been widely reserved for after-hours calls using an answering service or medical billing.
The Benefits of Outsourcing
Practice outsourcing may be independent consultants or other large corporations. No matter the size of the business you work with, contracting out operational practice tasks can provide a variety of benefits.
Outsourcing helps you:
- Focus on core tasks central to a cash/direct-pay medical practice
- Lower costs including technology, payroll, and utilities
- Promote growth of the practice both in revenue and efficiency
- Maintain operational control by easily identifying where improvements can be made
- Offer staffing flexibility with extended hours
- Provide continuity and risk management with the consistency of outsourced contractors
- Develop internal staff by focusing on the onsite need of patients
From sole practitioners to multi-doctor practices, medical cash-direct pay practices of every size can use outsourcing to help their practice grow and expand while keeping expenses as low as possible.
Focus on Core Practice Activities
The front and back-office operations of a practice tend to expand during periods of rapid growth. This expansion can tie up your human and financial resources at the expense of the core activities that made your practice succeed in the first place. During times of contraction maintaining the financial and human resources of a busy practice does not make sense and can become impossible. Outsourcing allows the practice to continue to offer quality patient services while reducing costly overhead.
Outsourcing important but mundane activities can allow you to refocus your in-house resources on the activities that make you profitable without sacrificing quality or service.
Maintain Operational Control
Operations with rising costs should be considered for outsourcing. Departments that might have evolved into uncontrolled and poorly managed areas are good candidates. An outsourcing company, like Elite Med, can often bring better management skills to your practice than what would otherwise be available without significant restructuring.
For example, let’s say your surgical pre-ops are backing up and affecting the surgical schedule. There is not enough staff to perform the pre-ops with patients promptly. An outsourcing agreement with a company like Elite Med will concentrate on the entire pre-op process and get scheduling back under control. This will increase revenue and efficiency.
Offer Staffing Flexibility
Outsourcing functions, such as when your patient coordinator is busy with patients or out of the office, provide the additional resources you can use at a consistent cost. Working with the same outsourcing firm or contractor provides consistency in addition to flexibility
Maintain Lower Costs
Sometimes the expense of purchasing equipment or needing a new employee can be prohibitive. In these cases, it’s more cost-effective to outsource than to expand operations internally.
If the growth of your practice results in an increased need for office space, try outsourcing operations such as lead contact management, appointment setting, and patient pre-ops rather than moving to a new location. It might cost far less than the price of expanding, and it is both more efficient and less expensive than relocating.
Outsourcing can also lower costs by reducing the expenses associated with bringing on new employees, such as:
- A hiring search
- Healthcare and other benefits
- Payroll taxes
- Increased need for workers in management and HR positions
Working with contractors rather than employees can minimize these costs, allowing your business to get the same amount done for less.
The overhead costs of most practices are extremely high, but many offerings are required to satisfy medical requirements. Other operations are needed for patient engagement, expand your practice model, or compete in the very competitive marketplace. Outsourcing can be a good option because the cost of expanding to handle these operations for a small practice is often too expensive, could take too long to effect, or would create inefficiencies in your practice model.
For instance, your practice receives a variety of leads from multiple sources. One staff member can’t keep up with all the different leads and follow-up needed. Outsourcing to Elite Med, a firm that specializes in cash/direct pay medical practices will cost less than hiring additional skilled staff or training existing personnel, while still increasing the benefit to your patients.
Provide Continuity and Risk Management
Periods of high employee turnover can add uncertainty and inconsistency to a practice. Outsourcing provides a level of continuity to the practice while reducing the risk that a substandard level of operation could bring.
For instance, your patient coordinator is on extended medical leave and your receptionist is leaving for a new job. Outsourcing the front desk functions reduces risk and allows the practice to keep operating while the patient coordinator is unavailable. It also gives you time to hire a new receptionist without rushing the decision because the office is understaffed.
Develop Internal Staff
A large influx of leads can require sales skills that your staff does not possess. Outsourcing can provide you with the people who possess the sales skills you need while your people are coached by them to acquire a new or improved sales skill set.
How to Get the Most from Outsourcing
Practices often think about outsourcing purely in terms of cost savings, but outsourcing can do more than just lower expenses. As your practice grows, outsourcing can be a way to promote innovation, disrupt your place among the competition, and access new skill sets that reposition your practice in the market.
When considering how outsourcing can help you grow, don’t limit yourself to looking at the cost of hiring outside contractors versus handling a task with your current staff. Focus on the value a contractor’s expertise adds to your company. Whether through expanding, marketing your practice more extensively, or disrupting the way you are positioned among the competition, outsourcing can provide an opportunity for you to innovate, grow, and rise above the competition.