What’s Next for the Medical Industry: Trends Shaping the Future of Healthcare BPO Outsourcing in 2024

Published: December 20, 2023
A healthcare professional looks at records. The image caption says: Top 5 Trends Shaping Healthcare BPO Outsourcing in 2024.

The sudden onset of the COVID-19 crisis transformed the healthcare ecosystem as we know it. Over three years later, the pandemic has dissipated in most parts of the world, but many of its ripple effects can still be felt, particularly by the healthcare industry.

From incredible advancements in medical technology to increased focus on patient care, the post-COVID landscape has created challenges and opportunities for today’s medical providers. Through healthcare BPO outsourcing, medical institutions can take advantage of the opportunities while tackling the obstacles head-on. 

First Things First: What Is Outsourcing in Healthcare?

Before we dive into the emerging trends in healthcare, let’s briefly discuss outsourcing and its critical role in today’s medical ecosystem. 

In healthcare, business process outsourcing (BPO) refers to the various administrative and support functions medical providers delegate to capable third-party providers. Some of the most commonly outsourced back-office services include data entry and management, IT and technical support, and industry-specific solutions like insurance claims processing and medical billing and coding.

Studies have found that 90% of medical leaders outsource non-clinical and clinical services as a cost-saving measure. A BPO partner can help hospitals, clinics, and other medical institutions speed up task completion without significantly disrupting their existing operations and taking on too much upfront costs.

Are Healthcare Organizations Outsourcing Their Call Centers?

Beyond back-office services, many hospitals and healthcare providers outsource customer service and other client-facing departments. Healthcare institutions can provide 24/7 patient support through medical call center services, ensuring people can share their inquiries and concerns past regular clinic hours.

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Challenges, Trends, and Opportunities Shaping the Future of Healthcare BPO Services in 2024

Now that we’ve discussed the basics of healthcare outsourcing let’s look into the emerging trends shaping the industry’s future. Paying attention to both challenges and opportunities can help medical institutions elevate their operational strategy for the coming new year.

Healthcare Worker Shortages

The widespread medical worker shortage is one of the most significant challenges facing today’s healthcare organizations. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the industry will fall short of about 124,000 healthcare practitioners by 2024. Experts predict that there will be insufficient physicians to handle growing patient demand.

The effects of the healthcare labor crunch are felt nationwide, but some states are dealing with more severe shortages than others. For instance, California, one of the largest and most populous U.S. states, is reaching a crisis point. Over 11 million residents experience difficulty accessing much-needed healthcare due to a shortage of primary care physicians.

Pandemic burnout, insufficient educational and training opportunities, and the aging population are among the reasons cited for the healthcare labor crisis.

How Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Addresses the Medical Worker Shortage

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As the healthcare sector braces itself for 2024, industry experts foresee labor shortages worsening in the new year and beyond. By 2026, over 6.5 million medical workers may permanently quit or leave the industry entirely.

The healthcare industry must try to reduce the workload of its existing workforce while focusing on patient care to minimize the effects of the labor crunch. The best way to do this is by offloading tedious and repetitive tasks to outsourced providers, lightening the load of their core medical team.

For instance, one study found that the average nurse spends more time performing administrative tasks, such as data management and patient information review and verification (59.78 minutes per four-hour block) than dealing with patients (58.71 minutes). 

By delegating support functions to a BPO, nurses can focus on doing their best, preventing fatigue and burnout while giving them more time to prioritize patient satisfaction.

The Inflation Reduction Act

In August 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which curbs inflation by promoting clean energy, lowering healthcare costs, and increasing tax revenues. While the IRA bill is expected to provide tremendous advantages for consumers, it also created many challenges for the healthcare industry.

For instance, the IRA includes a provision that allows the federal government to negotiate prices for brand medicines, effectively forcing pharmaceutical companies to put a price cap on specific products and limiting their cash flow. Due to this provision, industry experts estimate drug manufacturers will face a $450 billion revenue loss.

How Healthcare BPO Outsourcing Can Help Pharmaceutical Companies Mitigate the Impacts of the IRA Bill

The Inflation Reduction Act may present significant obstacles for healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. However, there are still ways for these medical institutions to ensure long-term profitability and sustainability, starting with reducing costs through outsourcing.

By delegating non-core tasks to a BPO provider, pharma companies can focus on drug manufacturing, enhancing operational efficiency while minimizing overhead costs. For example, drug manufacturers can outsource supply chain and logistics management to a 3PL provider, cutting expenses by 15% while ensuring on-time delivery and distribution of their products.

Technological Advancements in Medicine

New technologies are shaping the future of the healthcare industry, from the rise of telehealth and telemedicine to the integration of AI in medicine. The problem is that many medical providers may struggle to keep up with each new development and innovation.

Working with healthcare BPO companies can help them facilitate digital transformation and stay on top of emerging tech trends. Instead of hiring in-house professionals, hospitals and medical providers can outsource software development and IT services to offshore and nearshore experts.

Enhanced Focus on Patient Experience

In today’s post-COVID medical landscape, patient experience has become as essential as any healthcare infrastructure, amenities, or equipment upgrades. One study found that over 44% of patients had a negative experience with a medical provider, and 34% switched providers because of it.

With patients becoming more selective when choosing hospitals, clinics, and medical providers, the healthcare sector must keep up with their evolving expectations and preferences to provide a top-notch experience. One innovative way to improve patient satisfaction is through outsourcing.

How Healthcare Call Center Outsourcing Elevates the Patient Experience

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With the right call center partner, healthcare institutions can provide more comprehensive and accessible customer support for patients. Since contact centers operate round-the-clock, patients can receive prompt answers to their inquiries and concerns, no matter the time or day.

Some BPO companies also offer multilingual support, allowing patients from all backgrounds and walks of life to speak their preferred language and express their concerns more efficiently. Their highly trained call center agents add a human touch to every interaction, helping patients feel more at ease while navigating complex and emotional medical concerns and emergencies.

Rising Demand for Specialty Healthcare Outsourcing

Finally, an emerging trend shaping the future of the medical sector is the growing demand for specialty healthcare outsourcing. By 2025, the U.S. healthcare outsourcing market is expected to grow to $66.3 billion, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8%.

More medical providers are reaping the benefits of outsourcing, using it to support their workforce, improve operational efficiency, and gain access to specialized expertise while navigating budget constraints. By delegating healthcare call center services and other non-clinical functions to a BPO provider, the industry can future-proof its operations for 2024 and beyond.

Outsource Healthcare BPO Services to Experienced Professionals

In the face of numerous disruptions, from labor shortages to evolving regulatory environments, the healthcare industry must seek innovative strategies to enhance its flexibility, adaptability, and resilience. The good news is that the proper healthcare BPO outsourcing provider can guide you during these uncertain times.

As the BPO partner of several healthcare and biopharma companies, SuperStaff is specially equipped to meet the needs of medical industry clients. We offer a wide range of outsourcing services, and we customize each solution depending on the needs and goals of your specific business and industry.

Are you ready to face the challenges of the coming new year? Connect with us, and we’ll help you fortify your operational strategy for 2024.

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