Monthly Archives: July 2017

Here’s the Universal Healthcare Impact for you

Universal healthcare continues to dominate the headlines. There are many arguments for or against the idea of implementing a system where healthcare is available to all citizens. It is a worldwide issue and one that has been put into place in many different countries around the world. From Canada to New Zealand to the Netherlands to Singapore to Israel there are many different variations on universal healthcare in place around the globe and in different economic and political climates. There are many different ways that a country can decide on healthcare funding. With that in mind, each country has developed their own system of healthcare and has had to decide which is the best way to bring money in so that they can continue to provide the services guaranteed by their own universal healthcare system. There are many ways to better provide to citizens, from providing someone the best of southern Chicago suburbs healthcare or giving someone else in Oregon a better chance to receive attention.

Finding the best healthcare possible and being able to then afford it is an issue that many face. Within the United States, there are many different thoughts on the subject of universal healthcare reform. Since the United States is the only industrialized nation currently without any type of universal healthcare system, it will remain an interesting issue from all angles. Whether one is trying to find the best Wilmington Illinois healthcare possible or going to a New York hospital or visiting the local family physician – it is important for the average person to feel as if they are protected and able to seek medical attention regardless of their insurance providers.

So if you or a loved one came down with a serious illness that needed immediate attention, you would want to be able to afford the best Watseka healthcare possible. However, some are not in the situation to afford healthcare for themselves and/or their loved ones for a myriad of reasons. A universal healthcare program could effectively get rid of that possible life-threatening situation and can guarantee basic health and medical benefits to each and every citizen. Regardless of where you live or where you work or your living situation, the issue of universal healthcare is bound to be important and could have a major effect on how you live your life.

The quality of the healthcare is important to all citizens, young or old, and so it is important to look at the different options available to best provide for each individual. So whether you are searching for the best Watseka healthcare or are currently receiving the best care in the southern Chicago suburbs healthcare or Wilmington Illinois healthcare systems, the topic of universal healthcare is bound to be raised. Whether it is a good plan and how it will be financed will continue to be interesting points of discussion that concern how citizens can be assured access to quality healthcare regardless of their living situations.

What Will New Economies Carry for Your Health Care?

As of September 18, 2009, the healthcare reform bill, HR 1495, was still in committee. Once it is out of committee, it goes to the House and Senate for vote and then to the president for signing. Just because it is signed, doesn’t mean that it immediately goes into effect. Some of the mandates of the new bill require private insurers to comply with new rules and regulations that are set by the reform bill. One can only guess how well that is going to go over. The real issue at hand, as is with many bills, is how much will it cost? Not only in terms of actual cost to individuals desiring some form of healthcare, but in terms of taxes and burdens upon tax payers?

Currently, an estimated $500 million in new taxes are anticipated to cover the healthcare reform. Whether or not this is the actual number, the reality is that covering the healthcare costs of tens of millions of Americans is not going to be cheap. The Obama Administration is already spending money at an alarming rate. Can we really afford this plan? and yet, can we not afford it?

I can tell you that my own predicament is having to afford healthcare for my own family. I want the best care, but at a reasonable rate. When it costs almost $800.00 a month to pay for my family, I wonder what the federal alternative will be? Will it be less for the same care? Or will it be an HMO nightmare where I can’t get in to see a doctor for weeks on end. Will mental health be covered? What will it cost me as a clinician in terms of being paid for the services I provide? It’s already difficult understanding how insurance companies justify what my pay should be, and at such low amounts!!

Balancing both sides is difficult. I should be paid well enough to support my family, yet I don’t want to be robbed when trying to get healthcare coverage. This is where private industry can step up. Healthcare shouldn’t cost so much to meet the needs of patients. Without going into great detail, healthcare companies have very much figured out how to “pool” their members to avoid a catastrophic trend of insurance claims that would bankrupt them. Therefore, why does it cost so much? Employers already bear much of the burden for their employees when contributing towards their insurance premiums. The answer seems pretty obvious to me: The current insurance companies are top heavy.

When greed is factored into the cost of insurance, then it becomes a problem when considering the moral value of insurance and healthcare. Corporations have a duty to benefit the stakeholders of their organizations. This is in direct conflict of providing affordable healthcare because it makes moral sense. To dramatically offset the corporate greed, government feels it needs to step in. Unfortunately, the government can’t see the forest among the trees. They are so worried about those who are lost among the forest that they lose sight of the bigger picture: Providing healthcare without burning down the forest. Until corporate governance can limit executive pay and until government can limit the waste in spending, neither option is the best option. Why not have a healthcare system that is subsidized by government, but only to the extent that it limits the cost to those who are uninsured, and therefore, limits the pay to upper management in order to avoid a top heavy system?

At some point, a pendulum must meet it’s center. The new healthcare reform seems to be at odds with the current healthcare system. The current healthcare system provides the best medicine in the world. It provide efficiencies that make processing insurance care easier, faster, and less expensive. Medicare should be a forewarning to us about how the government will manage this system. It’s slow, burdensome, and has more holes than Swiss cheese that allow for abuse.

As a clinician that constantly battles with insurance carriers over payments, processing of claims, and meeting the needs of my patients, I can say that the system has become easier, faster, and more user friendly over the past couple of years….and it doesn’t take over 1000 pages to accomplish this.

The bottom line is that healthcare reform isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It isn’t going to happen cheaply. So before everyone jumps on the bandwagon, take a moment to think twice about where you are in your current coverage and lobby for a cooperation between private and government healthcare, instead of government run healthcare.

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New Financial Services at US Healthcare

Susir Kumar: OK. A BPO is basically the back end of a company’s operations, so we handle their customers’ transactions. Through the recession period we have seen, for example, banks issuing a lesser number of credit cards; banks giving fewer mortgages; the new accounts that are being opened up have reduced. We are the back-end supporter of these clients of ours: the volumes coming in from these clients of ours have actually gone down, so if we were issuing 60,000 cards a month for a particular client it perhaps went down to as little as about 5,000. We became extremely concerned about issuing any further loans [while] people were just not willing to spend money or buy things, and all of that had a significant impact on the number of transactions and the number of calls coming in.

What we first saw in this initial phase of this whole recession was volume reduction, and a whole lot of companies being extremely concerned about whether they would survive through this phase of recession or not. So everyone started strategizing around how to survive. We had a set of companies which thought by taking certain actions they would survive, and then we had a set of companies which were pretty concerned about their survival. So in some companies we actually saw some drastic measures being taken, and now people were not expecting the traditional outsourcing deals. They were asking us “Tell us how you can accelerate the cost savings process? I know you can give us 50% reduction of costs after 18 months: is there a way that you can give us 30% right now?” So it was a completely new expectation that came in, and I think after the first six months of recession we saw a lot of companies coming out with the question, [so] we had to change our value proposition or our offers to clients and prospects… Then we started observing, over the next six months to about nine months, that these companies were making faster decisions: in the past it would take anything between six to 18 months to take a decision on outsourcing or offshoring, but during this phase we were seeing companies taking decisions as quick as maybe two or three months.

We noticed that clients who had outsourced just about 15% or 20%, were all talking to us about how they could increase the outsourcing/offshoring percentage, and get their costs down; so we also went after every company that had outsourced just a small component, and we told them that “yes, in this case you are saving $5 million a year, or $10 million a year; here is another opportunity where you can accelerate and increase the scope of offshoring and outsourcing, and you could save potentially double or triple the amount that you are currently saving.” The third thing that we saw was, [before the recession] people would not make an offshoring or outsourcing decision if the saving was, say, less than 40%. In the new environment we saw that even if we gave a value proposition of savings of 15%, people would make a decision. Three years back we would never go to a company if the value proposition was just a 15% saving.

I think right now we are in this phase – where from the bottom our clients have actually been growing about 5 to 10%, so we have already seen more cards being issued, more mortgages being given, more people traveling; in the travel segment that we handle, we are seeing a lot of demand coming up. And in the last six months most of the companies that have downsized their own labor force, are all believing that there is going to be some growth in the next six to 12 months. Albeit, these companies are not convinced that this growth is going to be sustainable; people are generally believe that 2012, is where they will see a growth equal to what they saw in 2007-2008. So the value proposition that we are offering to our clients is: ‘you guys have come out with a plan for next year that talks about 10% growth versus the bottom; rather than you building your own capacity and people why don’t you look at working with us, because you can turn on the tap or turn off the tap with us, whereas it’s more difficult for you guys to do it in your environment where it’s expensive and more regulated.’

SSON: Looking forward then, Susir, what now do you see as the biggest challenges facing outsourcing providers? And how are you positioning Intelenet to overcome these?

SK: Just to give you a summary: over the last, say, 18 months to 20 months, we’ve actually seen a reduction or a contraction of our existing business of around 10% to 15%. But there is new demand which is offsetting this shrinkage, and net-net we are still seeing a 10% growth. The good news is that people are making faster decisions and looking at outsourcing more. Because of these multiple reasons and the fact that we are giving them capacity as a value rather than just cost, there has been a growth in our existing-to-new business, to the extent of almost 25%, which after offsetting the 10%-15% shrinkage still accounts for 10% net growth. So that’s the bottom line of the whole thing.

People are also negotiating more. And people have actually tested the market in the last 18 to 24 months and trying to squeeze a little more out of service providers like us. When they came in through this phase of recession and asked us for a 5% or 10% discount, we gave it to them because these are long-term relationships, and we have to reciprocate in some form in their time of difficulty. Now this is becoming a new norm for pricing.

We have also learned in the last 18 months or 24 months to run the operations more efficiently. So what we have been telling the clients in the last 18 months is, “ok, you guys want a 10% discount, we’ll give you a 10% discount. But don’t dictate to me in terms of where the operations should be run from, what should be the span of control, what should be the kind of technology – you tell me what is the end result you want, in terms of efficiencies, in terms of turnaround times, in terms of accuracy, and let me decide how and from where to run the operations, and I’ll give you the 10% discount.” So what has happened in the last 18-24 months is we have been given the freedom to decide how to run and from where to run the operation.

Net-net, though we have reduced the price, we have been able to get the same margin as what we were getting in the past..

Another big challenge is that people are asking for more and more financially structured deals, rather than the regular outsourcing which is a per-FT price or a per-transaction price; it’s becoming a little more complex. They are asking us to fund the redundancy, they are asking us to fund the set-up costs; there are a few clients that are asking us to take an outcome-based pricing, and we’re taking more and more of that. I think from a risk perspective, we are now required to factor in if at all we have funded the redundancy – and if the contract is say over a period of 5 years, if it actually gets terminated before that, then we will not have to cover the entire funding of redundancy that we have done.

Companies are also coming and telling us, “guys, just take our operation lock stock and barrel, and you guys decide the onshore/offshore mix, etc: this is what we want as outcomes.” And what that means to us is investment; taking over the risk of pensions of these employees and costs associated with just aligning that new business that we buy out with our business, and so on and so forth. In the last six months we have done about five acquisitions of just the back-end operations of a company. And that always has the challenge of integration – and the risks.

SSON: That’s an interesting point: at the moment we’re seeing a lot of BPOs buying into shared services captives, for example Cognizant and UBS: is that something on your agenda for 2010?

SK: Yes they are, and actually, one of the advantages we have is we’re not a listed company, and being a part of Blackstone, we do have access to capital. When you acquire a back office of an existing company, what you need is capital, and an ability to take the impact on your P&Ls for the first six months or a year of buying out the company.

For example, if I were to buy the back office of an existing company, the company would expect a reduction of costs of, say, 20%. In the moment that you buy it and you start billing 20% less the next day, you’re actually incurring a loss in your books, because the cost structure and the way the operations are designed needs you to spend, for example, 100 and you’re only actually billing the client about 90. There’s a hole in your P&L. Only after about six months to one year you will start reducing your costs, you will start building efficiencies in the processes and so on and so forth, and you will be able to bring down your costs from 100 to, say, 80 or so – and because the client is paying 90, you start making a profit of 10. What this means to us is it will impact on our P&L accounts for a period of one year. But because we are not listed it really doesn’t matter to us; and the good thing is, normally when you do a transaction like this we ask them for a lock-in – to provide us a commitment of business for a period of time. And as I told you we did about five transactions in the last six months: all of those five transactions have come with a revenue commitment for a period of time. You will see us do more and more of these kinds of deals both onshore as well as offshore.

Creating Printed Materials For Health Marketing Professionals

Many times, marketing or advertising agencies have a broad range of clients. As a result, the marketing professionals that work for the company need to know how to extend their knowledge to accurately represent all types of brands and organizations. Because different marketing methods are employed depending on the type of client, it can sometimes be hard for a non-specialized marketing agency to accurately market and gain business for every organization or company they represent. For instance, one would go about marketing a non-profit differently than a restaurant, and also differently from a healthcare facility.

The healthcare field is one such field that needs to be marketed differently. For those looking to get the word out or re-brand their healthcare organization, it’s a good idea to turn to healthcare marketing professionals with vast experience in the field. With an organization that focuses specifically on healthcare marketing, clients can expect great results that successfully advertise their name to the public and ultimately increase their facility’s ROI.

Let Marketing Professionals Handle It

The hallmark of many healthcare facilities is printed materials including newsletters, magazines and collateral marketing materials. It can take a lot of time, money, and effort to create beautiful, error-free publications that are easy to read, appeal to a target audience, and are well designed. Those in the healthcare field, even in an administrative or managerial role, often don’t have the time, marketing know-how, or technical printing background to effectively market and brand an organization.

With an agency that specializes in healthcare marketing, clients can rest assured knowing that their healthcare facility will be advertised to the right people, the right way. Healthcare marketing professionals can help create and distribute content relevant to each specific healthcare field. Whether it is in the form of newsletters, in-house magazines, or physician publications, the content created by these marketing professionals will improve your relationship with your target audience.

Printing for Healthcare Marketing Clients

Healthcare marketing professionals may focus on healthcare, but the basis of their education is in effective marketing. Marketing agencies are made up of experienced writers who can promote healthcare organizations and successfully communicate their benefits and features to clients, doctors, and potential customers. Graphic and web designers can create beautiful, eye-catching newsletters, magazines, and web pages to go with the compelling text. And healthcare advertising professionals know how to properly prepare a document for print, and where to go for the most cost-effective yet professional print job.

Newsletters sent to clients or patients are a great way to let them know about upcoming specials, new services, a change of hours, or any other business news. In-house magazines can spread the word within the company about individual professional achievements, upcoming events, and more. Publications specifically for physicians can highlight new, innovative medical technology and methods, and employee publications can keep workers in the know, promoting company unity.

Hire healthcare marketing professionals to accurately portray your healthcare organization to the public. These professionals are able to create expertly printed materials with a polished voice that effectively communicates news to current and potential clients, other doctors, and competitors in the field.