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BPO Make vs. Buy Part 2: How to Select a BPO Service Partner

If you’re frazzled from running the business side of your medical practice while simultaneously providing quality patient care, there are tremendous benefits waiting to be accrued from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). BPO, also known as outsourcing, involves moving your cost-related services to external sources.

In this cost-conscious era of healthcare, rife with constantly changing government regulations, aligning your practice with a BPO service partner provides a cost-effective way to practice more efficiently and to gain compliance with these rules. But, beware. Before you take the plunge, it is crucial that you are properly prepared to evaluate BPO services partners prior to signing on the dotted line.

The Everest Research Institute, which provides strategic and advisor services, advises, “In addition to its resources, the supplier’s expertise and its partnering mind-set are key ingredients to delivering value. Thus, a buyer’s selection of the right service supplier is critical to their outsourcing return on investment.”

Fortunately, there are many ways to evaluate a BPO Service Partner that can result in an extremely productive and long lasting union. Today, we launch a three-part blog series dedicated to examining the criteria crucial for medical practices to utilize when selecting a business process outsourcing service partner. This blog series, based on the white paper, “BPO Make vs. Buy Part 2: How to Select a BPO Service Partner,” authored by WRS Health Founder Lawrence Gordon, M.D., explores the fundamentals of choosing BPO services and outlines the questions a practice should ask in order to avoid problems and reap the rewards of outsourcing to a partner that is built to meet every need.

Part 1

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT SERVICE PROVIDER

Can the external services firm perform this service? This means asking the following subset of questions:

Management

Can you manage my practice on an ongoing basis? Is your staff qualified to manage my practice successfully? For example, when it comes to Medical Billing Services, can the company go beyond processing claims to follow up with insurance companies, appeal denials, take care of rejections, as well as no payments and slow payments? Do they have the tools to increase your revenue and can they provide a sharp view of your practice’s financial health?

Measurement

Can you measure and report to me in a consultative manner? The outsourcing firm should be staffed by experts who are able to provide you with constructive criticism and feedback. Dr. Hennessey reveals the benefits when there is a consultative partnership. “The team asks me to tell them more whenever I ask them to explain how to do something. They query me as to what I want to accomplish,” he said.

Integration

Exemplary contractors offer seamless integration of all of the clinical and business functions required for healthcare providers, including: Electronic Medical Records, Revenue Cycle Management, Personal Health Records, electronic prescribing (ERx), scheduling, website creation and content management, messaging, fax, order tracking and billing.

In Black Book Ranking’s 2013 poll, one of the major concerns to current EHR users are unmet pleas for sophisticated interfaces with other practice programs, complex connectivity and networking schemes.

Pointing out why integration is key when choosing to outsource services, the author of an online article in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons’ AAOS Now, said, “Choosing a company whose system is built on a platform of connectivity that enables the sharing of health information and the synchronization of data between patients, physicians, hospitals, labs, pharmacies and insurance companies provides unrivaled value, power and functionality.”

Denton Combs, CNP, an ENT and allergy practice in South Dakota is using external Billing Services from a company that boasts an integrated platform. Combs said, “I like that Billing Services are all tied together with the EMR. I pay for someone to audit my charts every six months and I’ve been doing very well. Right now we get five (claim) rejections a week. That’s a low number,” said Combs.