Archive for Business Process Outsourcing

Tips for Making Your Medical Coding Process More Efficient

Tips for Making Your Medical Coding Process More Efficient

Medical coding requires efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness. Without these three qualities, insurance rejection rates will soar. A mismatched code, an outdated patient information, or a late submission can make health insurers say NO. When that happens, everyone takes a blow. Patients, doctors and medical facilities don’t get the funding they need.

 Medical coding is a crucial process. Even though it operates in the background, its impact is substantial.

 Here are tips on how to make the medical coding process more efficient:

 Work with a Trained Staff

CDT, HCPCS, ICD, DSN, HL7.

 An average joe would ask, “What do these letters stand for?” But to medical coders these acronyms would feel like a second language — familiar, comprehensible, clear. They know the words and what it means. Not only that, they can make sense out of doctors’ notes and procedures. They who know the difference between “acute” and “chronic”; a CT scan and an MRI; a diagnosis and a prognosis.

 Having a medical coding staff that’s well-versed with terminologies, codes, and the entire claims process will expedite the coding operations.

 Embrace Technology

Medical coding calls for high attention to detail and patience. Lots of it. On top of that, medical coding deals with varying billing procedures and different coding systems. It’s a painstaking process, and without technology, the progress will crawl at a snail’s pace.

 Cutting-edge software that adapts to the medical and health insurance industries is a must to speed things up.

 Analyze Rejected and Denied Claims

Keep this in mind: Every failed claim is an opportunity to improve.

 Rejected and denied claims provide valuable business intelligence, showing you the areas for improvement and the processes to streamline.

 So, set aside time to look into reports. Study them and find out what went wrong. Compare approved claims vs denied ones. Trends and patterns often emerge, giving insights on how to strategize for higher approval rates.

 Strive for a Complete and Updated Patient Database

A wrong address, a misspelled name, and an inactive phone number can stretch out the coding and claim filing process unnecessarily.

 Right off the bat, make sure all relevant patient information are documented accurately. Take the complete name; double check the phone number; verify the address; know the birth date; collect the Social Security number. When it comes to patient information, don’t save it for later. Stay on top of it and keep it updated.

 Consider Medical Coding Outsourcing

Medical coding requires manpower, premium software, and ongoing staff training. Do you have the time or the resources for it? Think about it. Having it in-house is a costly exercise.

 But if you choose to outsource, you’ll have what you need, all bundled up in a reasonably priced package. Flexibility is an add-on, too. You’ll have more time to focus on core processes like patient care. More importantly, ROI is guaranteed.

 StraightSource specializes in Healthcare BPO. Our processes our HIPAA compliant and we have modern systems in place. Our outsourcing solutions will give your business the push it needs.

US Outsourcing Talent: It’s There But it’s Scarce

Think of your business as a machine made up of cogwheels, shafts, and chains. Each part has a specific function but all of them are working together to be highly efficient. If one part goes missing or damaged, the machine malfunctions and it ceases to produce the output you desire.

 In reality, these machine elements are your employees, each having their own role to play. If one employee is not the right fit or if there’s a void to be filled, your business will feel the strain. It will slow down and might even come to a halt.

 That’s why it’s important to have the right people on your team.

 Unfortunately, finding the right people is not as easy anymore. High-skilled talent is scarce and businesses in the US, whether big or small, are struggling. Wondering why it’s happening? Here are the two major factors that contribute to the scarcity of high-skilled talent in the US:

 Improved Economy

Shocker, right? An improved economy is a good thing. Actually it’s not just good, it’s wonderful, fantastic, and amazing. You can describe it with all the positive adjectives you can think of.

 But it has a “side-effect” businesses must deal with. A good economy creates jobs, lots of it. It lowers unemployment but it also widens the skills gap. As a result, talent shortage ensues.

 Retiring Professionals

It’s not easy to replace retiring professionals. When they say goodbye to the workforce, they take with them a vast amount of knowledge and a superior set of skills honed over the years. No fresh talent can compare to that.

 Due to the talent shortage, pressure shifts towards the employers. Finding the right person for the job becomes a competition. Supply is low so the demand increases. Employers feel the need to amp up their offers and hiring packages. For job seekers, it’s incredible. But for employers, especially those who own small to medium size businesses, it can be a challenge.

 Now, how can SMEs compete with the big ones who have far thicker profit margins?

 The answer is: They shouldn’t. Why compete if there’s an alternative solution?

 If talent is scarce here in the United States, go seek a “greener” pasture. Talent overflows in other parts of the world. Tapping into it is a matter of finding the BPO partner you can rely on.

 Outsourcing is your answer to finding high-skilled talent in a cost-effective manner. If you have doubts with integrating a virtual team member into your business, put them aside. Today’s technology makes it possible for you to connect seamlessly. They may not be physically present in your office but the contribution they’ll bring to your business will be remarkable.

In addition, outsourcing saves you from the trouble of headhunting, administration and management. Your BPO partner will take that out of your hands.

 With outsourcing, you don’t only find the “best fit” for your business but you also get “add-ons” that will save you time, effort, and money. Get in touch with Straightsource now and let the the number one provider of Global Outsourcing Solutions connect you with the talent you need.

A Guide on How to Evaluate an Outsourcing Provider

Savings, time, flexibility. These are the three big rewards of outsourcing. However, you’ll only experience the full benefits if you choose your outsourcing provider correctly. Choosing poorly can spell a massive headache for your business. To ensure that outsourcing improves your operations instead of causing a backlash, you have to start it right.

Here’s how you should evaluate outsourcing providers:

Do Your Research

Before even reaching out to the outsourcing provider you have your eye on, research first. Learn as much as you can about them on your own.

Go through their website. Know about the scope of the services they offer. Pay special attention on how they present themselves as a business. Also, don’t skip their social media accounts. Get a feel of their online presence. A strong one often indicates authority in their field.

Knowing who they are will give you insights and help you figure out the questions you should ask once you meet up with them face to face.

Ask the Hard Questions

Keep this in mind: Outsourcing providers, just like any business you try to work with, will “sell” themselves to you. They’ll tell you all the ‘good stuff’. But what you need are straightforward answers regarding their framework. Don’t skirt around topics such as:

  • Their access to technology and the infrastructure they have in place
  • Your control over the outsourcing team you’ll have if you decide to work with them
  • Communication flow and process
  • Measures for data security and risk management
  • Management and support approach
  • Costs

Play Out What-If Scenarios

In an ideal world, all ventures go according to plan. In reality, it’s not often the case.

Anticipate issues you think you might encounter and play out it with the outsourcing provider. Questions like ‘What if you’ll need more people?’, ‘What if you decide to terminate the service?’,’What if your outsourced team need re-training?’. Based on their responses, you’ll be able to gauge if they are the right partner for you.

Look into their Track Record and Experience

Take the time to go through their case studies and ask for referrals. Get to know the outsourcing provider through their past and present clients. Pick up on how they deal with clients and the quality of solutions they provide.

Test them Out

When you buy a car, you do a test drive, right?

Like buying a car, outsourcing is also an investment. Testing the waters before fully immersing yourself is a wise decision. If possible, engage the outsourcing provider on a “trial period.” Test them out with a few tasks and evaluate their response and work quality. It will give you a glimpse of how they are in action.

Choose an outsourcing partner that’s worth your investment. They should be able to provide efficient solutions to the needs of your business. But more importantly, they should embody the values you also stand for.

If you’ve been searching for an outsourcing partner but couldn’t seem to find the right fit, give Straightsource a chance. Our commitment is 100% all the time.

Keys to Managing your BPO Partner

Think of the word “partnership”. What makes it stand out from other relationships out there? Partners have mutual interests, common goals, and more importantly, shared success. The victory of one is also the victory of the other. If one profits, the other also gains. If one fails, the other also loses. That’s how it is when you work with a BPO provider. A partnership.

Some business leaders think that by hiring a Business Process Outsourcing company, you will have that service off of your plate. While working with a BPO makes your life easier, engaging the services of a BPO provider is not a set-and-forget deal. Your work as a ‘partner’ begins even before you sign the contract. It starts the moment you make a decision to work with the BPO provider you’ve chosen.

Here are the top tips on how to manage your BPO provider:

Understand Your BPO Contract

Before validating the contract with your signature, understand EVERYTHING written on those pages.

Surely, there must have been discussions prior to the final draft, but still, you should go over all points and stipulations first before signing. By doing so, both parties know what’s expected from each other right from the start and a smooth relationship flow is likely to follow.

Prepare Your In-House Team to Work with the BPO

Outsourcing will have an impact on your day-to-day operations and most especially, to your in-house team. As a business leader, the decision to outsource is yours. But, you will not be the only one working with your outsourced team once it’s up and running. Your in-house team will also have to make room and adjust to the new system.

Outsourcing will bring a positive change to your business. However, it is still change. So, work with your in-house people and make sure they’ll also embrace the change as you do and handle objections up front.

Communicate Regulary

As in every partnership, it’s success depends upon regular and two-way communication. Keep the communication channels between you and your outsourcing provider open. Be upfront about the challenges you encounter and issues you foresee, providing real time feedback along the way. Listen to their input and always strive for win-win solutions.

In addition, schedule meetings to touch base and chat about how things are going. Aside from helping you stay updated on what’s happening, regular catch ups will boost your working relationship with your BPO provider.

Let Your BPO Provider Do Their Job

Sometimes, situations may arise and you’d like it handled your way. And that’s alright. Everyone wants to do the best for everybody. However, there are cases where you’ll need to step back and let your BPO provider perform the service you hired them to do.

For instance, a member of your outsourced team needs to be performance managed. It’s important to remember that the team member is employed by your BPO, not by you. The best course of action is to sit back and let their leadership set their performance management protocols in motion.

Know when to let your BPO provider take the lead when dealing with internal issues. Just like you, they have rules and policies within their business to follow. They are the experts in their field, while you are the expert of your business. Together, you can create a lasting and productive relationship.

With Straightsource, you’ll have a partner you can trust. Contact us to get started.

BPO Then and Now – History and Growth

BPO Then and Now: A Look at its History and Growth

Can you imagine the BPO industry without computers and the Internet? It’s a silly thought, right? Where would BPO be without the interconnected networks that span across two or more countries? Outsourcing is about people and businesses that are geographically apart but are brought together by a powerful technology that makes human and data communication possible in real time.

But, would you believe that BPO used to work sans the technology we know today? YES! Before the Internet became a “thing”, sourcing out operations already existed but it in a very different way.

The Old BPO

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) then was largely associated with the manufacturing industry. The “BP” or business process that was “outsourced” are huge segments of a company’s supply chain, often involving raw materials, production, and distribution of goods and services.

A great example of how BPO worked before is Coca-Cola.

Before Coca-Cola or “Coke” became a global brand, it was ours first. Starting in the late 1880s, Coke made its way into the American market, rising to popularity over time. After roughly three decades, Coke decided to “outsource”. In 1921, Coke teamed up with a local corporation in the Philippines, establishing their first international bottler in the process.

By “outsourcing” their manufacturing operations in the Philippines, Coke did not only save costs but it has also secured a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region.

Early Stages

Now, fast forward to the late 1990s upto the early 2000s. The Internet may not be as good as it is today, but it has allowed the BPO we know to take shape and form. Still centered around cost effectiveness, more and more companies are entrusting their non-core business functions to outsourcing partners in countries like India, China and the Philippines. The number of call centers and back office support companies grew. As a result, businesses gained flexibility, allowing their main office staff to focus on vital core processes.

Business Process Outsourcing in the Present

Today, the BPO industry has definitely gained solid traction. Some even go as far as saying it has undergone a revolution.  Over the years, the BPO industry has proven it has more to offer than being just an economic strategy.

For instance, outsourcing is no longer limited to back office and support jobs such as contact centers. With the right systems and the right people, having offshore teams with high level of expertise and specialization is possible. Therefore, companies can outsource even their core business functions.

And it’s already happening now.

KPO, which stands for Knowledge Process Outsourcing, is a subset of BPO that refers to outsourcing integral business functions and working with offshore teams that have an advanced degree of analytical and technical skills.

The industry has grown exponentially since the 1990s. It has opened doors all over the world, benefiting not only the companies that outsource but also the people who openly embraced the opportunity to work with foreign businesses right in their homeland. For both parties, the advantages are undeniable. BPO has gained global acceptance, and without a doubt, it is here to stay.

So, if you haven’t tapped into outsourcing’s potential yet, don’t get left behind. Work with Straightsource and give your business the flexibility it needs. We offer over 44 business services to help you maximize your budget, headcount and resources.