CategoryHealthcare

New Financial Services in US Healthcare

SSON speaks to Susir Kumar (MD & CEO, Intelenet) and Suresh Ramani (President – North America Sales & Operations, Intelenet) about outsourcing trends for the next year, acquisition of captive centers by BPO and how changes in the U.S. healthcare represent opportunities for Intelenet.

SSON: Let’s start with a look at BPO generally. We’re just seeing the back end of a global recession – how has this affected Intelenet over the past few months?

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.

SSON: Who have you done transactions with over the last five months?

SK: We have done one transaction with one of the large banks, we are about to finish off a transaction in the UK. We bought two captives from travel companies, we bought one captive from a very large bank, we about to buy one very large captive from a transport company in the UK and we have also bought another company in the retail space, reasonably big: about 200-300 seats.

SSON: Moving on, Susir – let’s take a look at healthcare? We are running this a US healthcare series with Intelenet, can you give us some insight into the work you are doing directly in this space?

SK: There are two things. Firstly, Blackstone has about ten companies in the healthcare space in the US, either on the provider side and the payer side. Secondly, we are looking towards the regulatory changes that are taking place in the US: The new regulations will mean if a person in the US goes and applies for insurance, that person has to be given an insurance policy. Today they may just go and tell a customer that they will not give insurance coverage at all. The Obama administration is opening up insurance in that, earlier, insurance companies could only provide insurance for people in a particular jurisdiction – which could be a particular state, for example the state of Arizona. Now they have allowed these insurance players to give insurance policies across the United States.

So taking Arizona again for example – say there were four large insurance companies giving health insurance; all of a sudden now there are companies from New York that are issuing polices in Arizona, there are companies in Texas issuing policies in Arizona. The number of companies actually providing insurance cover has gone up by virtue of this new regulation. So in suammary, they cannot deny people coverage and the competition has actually gone up. By virtue of this we believe that both the insurance payers and insurance providers will have an implication on their cost and profitability.

A new code is also being prescribed. If you look at any medical diagnosis or procedure in the US or across the globe, it needs to be codified. For example if someone is diagnosed with four ailments, each of those needs to be coded; or if some surgery has been performed on a particular person then this again needs to be coded. This coding helps to keep medical records, and also helps to pay the insurance company and the hospitals – so insurance companies use this code to work out how much to pay for hospitals based on whatever ailments they have. Now this code is undergoing a change from what is called an ICD9 to an ICD10 which increases and changes the way things are codified.

So what does all of this mean to companies? Firstly, they will need to retrain their people in coding, they need to change the systems that they use for coding and, because the number of codes has gone up, they need to get more people into coding. The government will monitor payers and providers to make sure the coding is done properly. All of this will cause a huge impact on the healthcare companies in terms of costs and profitability so our value proposition at this point in time is that we can come in and help with codification. You don’t need to train people at your end, because we can either get these people onshore in the US or we can help you with an offshore solution. When you provide an offshore solution, the cost comes down – or it helps with the new issue we have in terms of competition and the universal access. As we have access to the ten companies in the Blackstone portfolio, we are already doing work for a few of them, we can just leverage this expertise and get across the whole market. So the reason we are focusing on the US is, one, to take advantage of the new situation, and two, to leverage the expertise we are already building by virtue of doing work for a few of these Blackstone portfolio companies, both on the payer and the provider side.

Suresh Ramani: I think if you were to draw a context of where US healthcare has been traditionally and where it is moving, I think there is cause for worry. If you look at the spend in 2008, they spent about $2.4 trillion on healthcare – which is about 17% of GDP – and of that $2.4 trillion, 80% of that went to 20% of the population of the US of the insured. That number today is going to double, within the next eight years the spend on healthcare will be about $4.5 trillion. So you can see the exponential growth and with all the reforms which Susir has talked about, such as universal access and going outside the state to insure, the risk appetite of all the providers is going to go up.

The other big piece is the unfunded mandates which are the conversions of ICD9 to ICD10 which as a program, I think, whether other countries have adopted, the US has to adopt, and that will be a regulation which has to come into effect by 2012. So, these are again costs that the providers and payers need to absorb.

Another big component to this is in terms of the reimbursements which will come down, because the Obama administration wants about $400 billion out of the spend to pay off the deficit. So if all this is going to happen, the payers have to focus on their operating costs if at all they are to survive – or there will have to be a story of consolidation or elimination out of the 1,800 payers in the American market.

There is also the issue of regulatory compliance. With all these changes, it is difficult to keep processes up to date; as a result healthcare insurance carriers are not meeting obligations to the state, to the federal government – and they are paying huge penalties. So Intelenet can step in here and fix these problems. The most important piece to that is not only do we consult but we actually implement process improvements. The other piece to this is that we get solutions which are both BPO and technology related so there is process optimization that we focus on and an enabler to that is outsourcing or offshoring. So clearly three things: regulatory compliance, driving down operational costs and improving quality, I think are our three pillars, if you will, of our service delivery.

SSON: Susir, you talked about the services that are being outsourced: processes and compliance etc, and you mentioned coding. What other services do you expect the healthcare industry in the US to outsource to you?

SK: There are two sets of people in this space: providers – basically hospitals and payers who are the insurance companies. On the providers’ side, there are also companies which provide medical equipment – so again another huge market. For example, the services we provide for hospitals are coding, billing services, contact center support, claiming monies from insurance companies – if somebody goes through a procedure then we need to ensure that the doctor writes it on a form and the form is scanned and it comes to us – we need the machine, we need to do the right coding, we need to send it to the insurance company to check that it is covered. If it is not covered by the insurance and it’s a deductible amount, we need to go after the insured. Then we need to raise a bill and say the payers challenge what we have invoiced, we negotiate and close those issues. Then there are complaints, and complaints management. On the payers side we receive invoices, we pay invoices, and we reconcile accounts.

SSON: Are you providing these services from onshore or are you providing from locations in India?

SK: There are clients who are asking us to do some piece of work onshore in our location, or in near-shore locations, or offshore. So, we are working with all of the models. We are offering clients both India and the Philippines. The Philippines has a lot of nurses who are either looking at going to the U.S. or who have returned back from the U.S. So that is a big pool that we are tapping into to say that “if you work with us in the healthcare space, it may be an added experience for you guys when you seek a job in the U.S”. Or for people who have come back from the US, when they already know the nuances and systems there, they can be readily employed in an environment such as the Philippines. We also have a site in Poland, again a good site from where we provide services in healthcare.

SSON: You are obviously looking very closely at the US healthcare space; do you foresee Intelenet possibly expanding into other countries?

SK: We have had a client from the UK for the past 8 years. But as there is a huge demand now from the US, we are all focused on the US. [But] we will be going beyond the US to other geographies. India itself is a huge market. The amount of people who are getting covered under insurance in India is huge; everybody now wants cover and there are a lot of healthcare companies, both on the provider and payer sides, coming into India. This is a completely new market for us.

SSON: So why do you think new customers – within the US or India further down the line – should sign with you as opposed to any of your competitors?

SK: I did mention to you that we have about ten companies in the Blackstone portfolio, all of whom we’re working with pretty closely – and the work that they give us covers almost the entire range of work that healthcare insurance companies look at outsourcing. Now these companies have not been used to offshoring and outsourcing as much as the financial services sector, and one big thing they will look for is, “are you guys really doing this, why I am looking at outsourcing?” And we are able to demonstrate an actual live case of the work they’re expecting to outsource. Also what we have done is significantly enhanced our management of healthcare, so we have of late recruited about half a dozen people who are some of the best-known people in the healthcare industry in the US; these are the guys who actually build applications for healthcare companies. We’re also leveraging, through the Blackstone portfolio, networking with people who are actually working in the companies, to see how they can work along with us, to build solutions for some of the companies in the U.S. We have a program where we can actually import people who are working with healthcare companies as part of the Intelenet team.

SSON: What other sectors do you think will provide you with the greatest scope for expansion over the next few years?

Suresh Ramani: I think there are some key areas that are going to grow in the US market. One is utilities and the second is government spends, but healthcare makes the biggest growth pie. Clearly speaking for us as an organization the US contributes about one third of our revenues. We’re equally distributed in the Indian market as well as the UK market. On an overall basis we see the banking industry again moving, not at an aggressive pace, but at a reasonable pace over the next 18-24 months; we can see some good traction in the marketplace. And we are very strong in the banking and financial services space. We have today close to about 8,000 people working in this market, and doing all the types of processing that you can think of doing for a bank. In short, if we had the money, we would be a bank ourselves!

Another area of growth for us is travel and hospitality. Susir started off pointing out that people are not travelling so much, but it’s a matter of time: when the economy starts looking up, there will be demand for travel as well as hotels. So that’s an area where we already have invested, both onshore and offshore and we have close to about 3,000 people in that space, so that’s again a focus area for us.

Telecoms is a focus for us especially in the Indian market; that’s a sunrise industry, with every month about 1 million customers being added in the Indian market space. Telecoms account for close to about 10% of our revenues today. And of course we are getting into new markets: Australia, we have a presence there, and we also do work for utility companies from Australia. The Middle East is again a good opportunity that we see for banking. And Europe of course with Poland coming in. We also have a center in Mauritius which caters for French opportunities. And all this will give us an identity of being a global player located in these markets who also can do work for these markets from low-cost destinations. So clearly we are moving away from a brand identity of an Indian-based BPO provider to a global BPO provider.

SSON: And is acquiring businesses in those locations a key priority for you?

Suresh Ramani: Absolutely. Like, in the US we already have two centers up and running with close to a thousand people; we have a partner signed in Australia. Susir talked about having a site in the UK now. So big markets, yes, certainly I think that’s a growth engine for us. We want to be present with a reasonable population in each of these countries.

SSON: Where would you like to see Intelenet in five years’ time?

SK: What we’re really trying to be is a one-stop shop for all the things associated with outsourcing and offshoring. There are companies who want multilingual solutions; there are companies who want multi-geography solutions; there are companies who want consultancy solutions; there are companies who want technology solutions; there are companies who want actual business process solutions, which might be either in terms of costs or in terms of efficiency; there are companies who want analytics. So everything which is a pain around the business process side, is what we want to really provide. That’s our focus; in the next five years that’s what we want to be: a company that can design, a company that can put in the relevant technology for implementing the design, and a company that can execute the business process. So we are looking at a one-stop shop for all the things associated with the business process.

SSON: Comparing yourself with other Indian BPOs such as Wipro or Tata – there’s plenty that have emerged out of India – how would you put yourself at the forefront, as an organization?

SK: If you look at Wipro and TCS – all the IT companies, all the large Indian IT companies, they are predominantly focused on IT and BPO is a sub-segment of it. If you look at the percentage of revenue that comes from BPO versus IT, BPO is a very small component. Compared with the IT companies, we are a focused BPO company – and I think that people who are seeking a large impact, like telecom companies or retail companies or banking companies, who have a lot of dependency on good operations to get in new business in new markets, they in the long term would rather work with a focused BPO company than an IT company that has got a subset of BPO, number one.

What we do is basically bolt on technologies which can build efficiencies into the processes that are outsourced or offshored – so we have scanning solutions, workflow solutions, ERM solutions, etc. Whereas the approach that an IT company takes is to build a solution. So that’s a difference between the two of us. There are instances where we lose deals to some of these IT companies; there are instances where we win deals against them. It depends how the buyer is looking at it: if they want more IT and less BPO they’ll go to companies like TCS or Wipro. If they’re looking at specialized BPO services, they come to us.

There’s also going to be competition from the Accentures and the IBMs of this world; but I think there are also issues with them in terms of cost, in terms of flexibility, in terms of speed, and that they’ve become too big, and we think very clearly we have an advantageous position against these guys because of the size and nimbleness and speed and the flexibility with which we can clear transactions. That’s where we have seen we have been able to win deals against these guys.

SSON: And do you consider yourselves competitive on price?

Suresh Ramani: Absolutely. We are best in class.

SSON: Of course you’re going to say that! Finally, I’d like to ask you: what is your definition of the perfect outsourcing relationship? And the perfect client?

SK: I think in terms of the services that we provide, everybody provides more or less a similar service. In the long term what really matters is the element of trust. And my definition of a true relationship between the company that is outsourcing and the company that is providing a service is that you can really live like a partner. So for example if you see the recession that we’ve had in the last 24 months, people have come and asked us for things which aren’t written in the contract. They’ve said, “we’ve actually given you a commitment of a minimum, a minimum commitment of so much: I can’t live up to the minimum for the following reasons.” Have we gone and sued them? Or have we really recognized that there has been a difficulty? I have not gone by the pure letter of the contract, but really responded like a true partner, and helped people through difficult times. And they have responded back, most of the companies to whom I gave discounts and to whom I let off a lot of conditions in the contract, have in the last three to six months come back and said “look, Susir, we’re looking at something new, and we really want to work with you; we don’t want to call for an RFP, we just want to stick with you guys because we trust you.”

Training and Certification Methods For Healthcare Risk Management

In the medical arena there is plenty of room for mistakes and errors to occur and practices are constantly at danger from their own in house errors and in trying to manage the healthcare risks of their patients. Practice professionals, themselves need to understand the principles of healthcare risk management.

Pre-Certification Program in Healthcare Risk Management is a professional certificate for people working in this area. This program is aimed at both medical and contingency management professionals who may need some training if they are to understand the subject’s intricacies as well as to further their own professional development.

This is approved by the Commission on Healthcare Certification for those who want to become a healthcare risk management specialist. This particular course is recommended by the Florida School of Nursing In spite of this recommendation the course does not meet the pre-license requirements for those people who want to become Licensed Health Care Risk Managers in Florida.

Professional Certificate in Healthcare Risk Management is for those people who really want to make a career in this area. Medical practice staff need to have some understanding of and training in danger management in healthcare. There are now several kinds of professionals who may not be medically qualified but who are trained and qualified in all the aspects of risk that can arise in the healthcare arena.

Many people may take the Professional Certificate in Healthcare Risk Management that is designed to help working risk management practitioners and healthcare practitioners train in an area that will further their professional development in the field of healthcare administration, patient safety, and clinic quality improvement. This course is offered by the University of Florida and is aimed at professionals already working in the field.

There are some other courses offered, e.g. the Life Wings training, that are aimed at professionals already working in the healthcare arena and that do not give certification. You can also study online with the University of Florida on the Healthcare Risk Management Certificate program and is approved by the Agency for Healthcare Administration. This particular course also meets the licensing requirements.

In healthcare the risk management specialist is there to identify areas that could be problematic and to reduce as far as possible, the amount of probable exposure. They are also expected educate the others that they work with into risk management practices.

Risk managers may come from a variety of professional backgrounds and because of the way that this profession has evolved; there are various methods of education and training for the role. Many have some sort of clinical background either as nurse or other healthcare professional.

The main objective in healthcare risk management is to both promote quality care and enhance parent safety. They may also be involved in managing any claims against the organization and to coordinate insurance coverage and risk financing.

Job Placement For Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals contribute much towards the success of any healthcare facility. Due to the rising demand, healthcare professionals can find excellent job opportunities in a number of medical firms.

Multifaceted Roles of Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare systems being a vast branch with a wide range of disciplines, job opportunities are many. Aspirants can get educated and trained in any of the desired disciplines and secure good job positions. With so many diagnoses and modes of treatment being developed every year, the scope for healthcare professionals in this field is increasing at a rapid pace.

As a healthcare professional, one would have to play multifaceted roles as caregivers, motivators, teachers and more. Along with education and training in the particular field, candidates should possess good interpersonal skills and counseling skills for serving in this field, and to earn good returns. Healthcare jobs in speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy enjoy great demand in the industry and are highly rewarding jobs today.

Professional Staffing Firms for Better Job Placements

For candidates to find suitable jobs that perfectly match their interests, approaching reliable medical staffing companies would prove beneficial. They offer better job placements in a suitable facility and location of their choice. They utilize their network and resources to provide better placements for the candidates. Based on the clients’ specifications, the competency and skills of the candidates are thoroughly screened. Attaining job placements through healthcare staffing firms will bring you added benefits such as:

• Travel, permanent, temporary assignments
• Medical and dental insurance
• 401(k) retirement savings plan
• Paid housing, completion bonuses, and travel expenses
• H1b visas and green cards
• Immigration processing
• Additional state licensing

Job vacancies are available across many different sectors including private hospitals, healthcare centers, nursing homes and more. For receiving email notifications on job placement for healthcare professionals from the recruiters, you have to register, log in and save your job profile in the recruiters’ database.

Healthcare Recruitment and Placement

Healthcare recruiting and placement services of reliable recruiting agencies offer excellent medical staffing services for a wide range of reputable medical facilities across the US. These recruitment agencies benefit not only job-seekers, but also top notch medical facilities like multi-specialty hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, home healthcare agencies, acute care clinics, long-term care centers, physician’s offices, outpatient clinics, educational institutions and government agencies, to recruit qualified personnel.

Talented Professionals for Healthcare Facilities

In view of the requirements of employers as well as job-seekers in the US healthcare industry, numerous healthcare staffing solutions providers offer reliable recruitment and placement services.

Healthcare employers benefit greatly from healthcare recruitment and placement services in that they are able to find the right person to fill the various positions in their facility. For instance, the recruitment agencies can supply them with professionally qualified speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and so on. Moreover, by using the services of recruitment agencies, the healthcare facilities are saved the trouble of job advertising and also the time and effort required for performing the tedious recruitment process. The agencies have a team of experts to manage the entire placement procedure, including candidate sourcing, preliminary evaluation and interviewing.

Placements with Attractive Benefits

Recruitment and placement services are available for both domestic and internationally educated candidates who can obtain temporary, permanent, part-time, short-term, long-term placements or travel jobs with high salaries and other benefits including

• 401(k) retirement savings plan
• Paid housing
• Professional liability insurance
• Section 125 Cafeteria plan
• Additional state licensure
• Continuing education
• Completion bonuses and travel allowances
• Short-term disability insurance
• Healthcare insurance
• Immigration processing support (for candidates trained abroad)

Reputable Agencies for Reliable Healthcare Recruitment and Placement

Healthcare recruitment and placement agencies in the U.S maintain online databases, which are updated frequently. By registering online, both employers and job-seekers can benefit through the quality healthcare recruitment and placement services offered. Candidates can access the jobs database and locate suitable job opportunities quickly. Employers who need for several professionals at a particular time are offered volume discounts.

Careers in Healthcare

There are many reasons why healthcare has emerged as one of the top careers choices. To quote data from the U.S. Department of Labor – 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations belong to healthcare, and most healthcare jobs involve less than four years of college education. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition, Healthcare)

Music to many ears, isn’t it? Let’s face it – college education is not getting any cheaper. If you have to pay through your nose for a decent education, it’s your right to expect results. And the sooner you finish your education, the quicker will be your entry into the workforce.

That’s why some of the sunrise and even classic healthcare careers are so appealing – they don’t require extensive education, they offer exciting work opportunities and growth potential, and they don’t pay poorly at all. And this has led to an increase in the demand for health care degree programs that are fast, focused, and flexible.

Let’s explore some popular careers in healthcare and their academic requirements:

1. Nursing: The American Nursing Association defines nursing as the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

It’s clear from the definition that a lot of responsibilities rest on the gentle shoulders of a nurse. She is the one who takes charge of a sick person and helps him on the way to recovery and health once the doctors have done their job.

To become a nurse, the minimum qualification is an Associate’s degree in Nursing or a hospital-administered diploma along with the requisite license from the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Many RNs also enter the profession with a Bachelor’s degree or pursue one after getting some experience under their belt. A Master’s degree is needed to move into the role of an Advanced Practice Nurse or a Nurse Educator and even for management-level nursing positions.

2. Respiratory Therapy: It’s one of the most promising careers in healthcare, offering job security, growth potential, and stimulating work with attractive compensation. Respiratory Therapists diagnose, treat, and care for patients with respiratory and pulmonary disorders.

They perform a large number of important duties that include conducting diagnostic exams, managing ventilators and other devices, and educating patients and their families about respiratory disorders as part of their work routine.

The minimum accepted credential for the role of a Respiratory Therapist is a two-year Associate’s degree in Respiratory Therapy along with certification from the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). A Bachelor’s or graduate degree can help you get more senior roles in the field.

3. Medical Specialties: Medical Specialties is an umbrella term for a number of healthcare careers such as medical assisting, medical coding and billing, physical therapy, laboratory assisting, etc.

The good thing is that you can learn all the disciplines as part of a single degree – an Associate’s degree in medical specialties – and choose one depending on your interest.

Medical specialists, especially pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, lab assistants, etc. are in great demand and enjoy excellent job prospects.

4. Healthcare Administration: Healthcare administrators have the critical job of ensuring that the delivery of healthcare is smooth and patient needs are met. They manage operations in a healthcare unit and, depending on their specialization and scope of work, either lead an entire facility or a particular department within a healthcare unit.

A health care administration degree or education in a related field such as public health, public administration, or business administration is required to become a health services manager.

While you may find mid-level roles as administrative assistants or assistant department heads with a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree is a prerequisite for senior managerial roles.

Healthcare Recruitment

By utilizing the services of experienced healthcare recruitment agencies, qualified healthcare professionals can secure placements in reputed healthcare facilities. Established healthcare recruitment agencies strive to satisfy the goals of both jobseekers and employers.

Helping Employers with Effective Hiring Solutions

Numerous healthcare recruitment agencies in the United States provide efficient recruitment services to meet the requirements of their clients. These medical staffing agencies maintain close contact with the various healthcare facilities and are promptly alerted about existing and upcoming job vacancies.

For providing healthcare providers with reliable staffing solutions, the recruiting agencies have an efficient team panel of recruiters and consultants. They meticulously execute each phase of the healthcare recruitment process, including preliminary screening, candidate sourcing and interviewing. They are therefore able to identify and source the right candidates for the vacant positions.

By hiring the services of healthcare staffing agencies, employers can effectively lower their overall vacancy levels, stop relying on print advertising, and easily fill critical job positions. Healthcare facilities can also save the valuable time and effort required for carrying out elaborate recruitment procedures.

Helping Healthcare Professionals Get the Right Jobs

Through the organized services of such agencies both domestic and internationally trained physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists can get temporary, permanent, short-term, long-term or travel jobs in top healthcare facilities. Apart from high salaries, talented and dynamic professionals, the benefits that accrue include:

• Paid housing
• 401(k) retirement savings plan
• Additional state license
• Professional liability insurance
• Continuing education programs
• Short-term disability insurance
• Immigration processing support (for abroad trained candidates)
• Section 125 Cafeteria plan
• Healthcare insurance

Interested candidates register on the websites of the recruitment agencies. They can access the jobs database which is frequently updated with fresh openings. This helps them to keep track of industry happenings and chart their career accordingly.

The Cost Effective Investment of Healthcare Solutions

Over the past decade, the use of Modular Construction has increased in the most residential sectors including in healthcare sector. After years of improvement and development, Modular Healthcare becomes well-accepted and trusted for its effective system and technology even for those who formerly remained questioning are now being convinced.

With the continue rising need for more functional space and expansion in healthcare industry, hospital administrators have to work harder to manage costs while trying to expand facilities to provide good care, this strikes Modular Healthcare on great demand.

The system has been used in healthcare sector to improve building resources and budgeting since the demand in Healthcare industry is consistently increased every years since hospitals and other health cares have insufficient space and resources. However, in this economical downturn period, expansion or renovation is seemingly unaffordable. Cost-effective is one of the obvious advantages that Modular Healthcare has over conventional building system. With the speed of construction and controllable processes, there will be fewer disruptions to plant operation. You would be able to start a new project while continuing to do medical practices without any disruption.

Modular Healthcare offers facility to individual offices or open plan areas with wide range of building options. It could be widely customized to meet your specific requirements. Whether you need a new doctor office, theater, operating room, new ward, healthcare center, new clinic or offices, this portable building can be make off-site in a controlled factory conditions before craning into the site with very minimum abruption. This high technology construction provides you versatility; you can have permanent or temporary prefab healthcare offices or you can relocate them whenever you wish.

Modular Healthcare Building is the effective property investment choice for such projects as:

  • Medical and Dental Clinics
  • Healthcare and Administrative Offices
  • Laboratories
  • Medical Spa Centers
  • Fitness Centers
  • Wellness Centers
  • Hospitals
  • Professional Buildings
  • Rehabilitation
  • Long Term Acute Care Facilities
  • Diagnostic Imaging and Dialysis Centers
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Company On-Site Clinics

Modular Healthcare today is far beyond limitation. Having a new building using traditional construction system might take a year to complete while modular system can beat at such a high rate of speed with effective quality, the advantage is outshined and more appealing comparing with old-fashion method. With flexible uses and wide range options, modular healthcare can provides seamless services to patient without any interruption while enhancing architectural design and aesthetic appearance including saving lots of budget.

The Changing Role In Healthcare Documentation

The healthcare sector today is going through many changes in the way the patient- healthcare encounter is documented. The announcement of the stimulus package for adoption of EMR/EHR systems using certified equipment and demonstrating meaningful use has brought about a major question about the role of medical transcription services in the process of adopting this new technology.

Considering the underlying objective of adopting nationwide electronic healthcare system, the role of medical transcription in this process becomes even more significant. The implementation of nationwide EHR systems have been encouraged to:

– Improve quality of care

– Reduce costs of care

These services have earned their place in the emerging healthcare documentation scenario by virtue of contributing to the achievement of both these objectives. They contribute to the healthcare documentation by:

Helping preserve narrative data – As healthcare is an essential service one involving decisions regarding life and death situations and involving the improvement of life situations; the importance of capturing the narrative story of the patient is vital. Medical transcription helps in capturing the total health story by converting dictation into text. This helps in improving the quality of care by converting mere data into information, which can be used for providing quality healthcare.

Having a core knowledge regarding the working of healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities – Transcription vendors and their teams have an inherent understanding of the working life of healthcare professionals and the running of healthcare facilities. This helps them create solutions that help improve the working life of doctors/support staff/clinics/hospitals by using software and technology to provide maximum benefits while still being easy to use.

Providing the benefit of training and knowledge to improve the quality of the data captured – The teams working on the process of creating patient medical records undergo a process of training that enhances their language skills, develops knowledge of the medical field, improves keyboard skills; these attributes make them adept at providing healthcare documentation that is accurate and timely. Not only that, they also use their experience and knowledge of the healthcare field to apply context to rectify any oversight made by time starved healthcare professionals to produce accurate transcripts.

Being very adaptable to change – This method of documenting the healthcare process has seen so many changes affecting the way information is captured. The service of creating patient medical records has evolved as a specialist service that has seen changes in the way dictation is captured to the way that transcripts are delivered. The experience of transcription vendors to adapt to the changing needs of the healthcare sector puts them in unique position help in this transition.

Medical transcription services have used a combination of the right people skills, optimum process and advanced technology to provide accurate, timely, secure and cost-effective transcripts.

An Overall Picture of Healthcare Schools

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the market today. Between 2008 and 2018, there is an expected increase of 3.2 million jobs, largely due to the aging population (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). With this need for more healthcare professionals of all types, healthcare schools are providing the education that candidates need to be successful in their chosen field. Not only are they revamping the type of education offered, more healthcare schools than ever are turning to digital means of instructing as well. From online classrooms to using today’s advanced mobile technology, healthcare schools are, and will continue to be, the leaders in preparing students for the realities of their new jobs.

The degree level needed for a job depends on what you want to do and how long you plan on attending school overall. For example, you can certainly get a job with a diploma or certificate from any healthcare schools that offer them. However the job will be limited in responsibility. Some examples include: certified nursing assistants, medical or dental assistants, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), and a pharmacy technician. These men and women are generally, as their name may imply assistants to someone who is more qualified in the field.

These professionals may be the first person the patient sees to get vital signs, help fill out medical history or be a first responder in an emergency before a doctor can assess them. These positions require that the person have excellent bed-side manner as well, since as the first person, and typically last person the patient sees, they should leave a good impression for the patient.

For those that would rather have more responsibility, they should consider other options that healthcare schools offer – for example, a bachelors, masters or doctorate in a desired field. Each healthcare school will offer degree programs that differ from another, so research your options carefully.

Some healthcare schools only offer higher degree levels, such as masters or doctorate. For example, physical therapy masters degrees are programs that train a professional already in the physical therapy field for patient-relations positions. This is due to the fact that you cannot get a physical therapy degree or try for a license to practice, without the hands-on learning.

Healthcare schools are also training their students about how to learn to use new technology. A prime example is the use of online schools and classrooms, integrating mobile technology and the use of updated patient-care technologies. Online healthcare schools are the new wave of the future. They allow many working professionals to get their first degree or certificate, or to advance one that they already have. Even just using the tools will get them ready to use what will be available to them in the workplace. Technologies like the iTouch connect professionals, and students, with the most up-to-date medical information for quicker and more effective care of a patient. Also, for the care of patients that are home-bound, Bluetooth technology use is being taught to care providers so that nurses and their assistants can always know the health of their patient.

Choosing A Healthcare Proxy


When you need someone to speak for you during a medical crisis, you have the right to choose a healthcare advocate or healthcare proxy. In choosing a proxy, there are many things to think about.

You want to choose someone that will have your best interests at heart. Choose someone that will speak for you the way that you would speak for yourself if you could and that will have the same characteristics as you when it comes to healthcare decisions. Usually, there is only one healthcare proxy at a time, but a backup person is always useful.

The following are some characteristics that you should look for when choosing a healthcare proxy.

• It is important to choose someone that you trust with your life. During a medical crisis, this person may very well hold your life in their hands. If you know they have your best interests, they would be a good candidate for a healthcare proxy.

• Choose someone that will be available to you into the future. You want a proxy that will be available to you now and for the foreseeable future. You never know when a healthcare crisis will arise, so you want someone that will be in your life for a long time.

• Can you talk to this person about highly sensitive issues? You want someone as a proxy that you can talk to about very personal issues. They should listen, and agree with your wishes and do everything in their power to make sure that your wishes are fulfilled.

• Can your advocate yet feisty when needed? It is optimal to choose someone that can stand up to doctors were other healthcare providers when they go against your wishes. Your proxy’s job is to make sure that they speak up for you when you cannot speak for yourself. Make sure that the person you choose has the personality to do so.

• Can your proxy get to you when needed? Make sure that you choose someone that lives near you or could travel to get to you if needed. If they cannot do that, they at least need to be available by phone for anything that may come up with your condition.

• Is your proxy over 18? By law, they must be.

• Your proxy cannot be any of your healthcare providers or employees of your healthcare providers.

You should talk thoroughly with your proxy about your wishes, hopes and fears. Tell them exactly what authority you are giving them over your healthcare decisions. Be extremely clear about what you expect from them, and make sure they know that they will be on record with all of your healthcare providers. Good luck!

Tiffany Matthews, aka “Healthebooklady”, is an author, social worker, burgeoning speaker and healthcare advocate. She is founder & CEO of Live Better Boomer!, a healthcare advocacy firm that teaches Boomers and other how to get their best healthcare through advocating for themselves.

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