Health IT Outsourcing on the Rise

Health IT outsourcing is growing in popularity as EHR Incentive Programs, ICD-10, and other health IT initiatives continue to drive the healthcare industry, and according to a recent Black Book survey, nearly 73 percent of hospitals with over 300 beds are using outsourced Health IT solutions.

After surveying over 1,030 hospital IT leaders, 240 CFOs, and over 1,000 business leaders, Black Book found an overwhelming trend toward outsourcing IT services. “Population health, analytics, revenue cycle management, EHR and HIE initiatives have accelerated IT expenses again,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book Market Research, and ““most hospital leaders see no choice but to evaluate and leverage next generation information and financial systems as an outsourced service in order to keep their organizations solvent and advancing technologically.” Because of this trend, 81% of provider organizations under 300 beds have also placed complex IT outsourcing in their priorities in the new year.

What Motivates Hospitals to Outsource?

The return-on-investment and immediate access to trained staff and needed technology are the primary motivators for outsourcing today. 90% of hospital organizations in Q3 2015 state they are at or near an immediate (3 months or less) return on their investment for IT outsourcing, and satisfaction with outsourcing vendors is also at an all-time high.

83% of the respondents also agreed on the top ten lessons in failed hospital IT contracting engagements:

  1. Outsourced IT services that should have stayed within the organization
  2. Selected the incorrect vendor for the job
  3. Neglected to realize the full costs of outsourcing
  4. Permitted the outsourced service to get out of control
  5. Disregarded employee and/or community concerns about outsourcing/offshoring
  6. Wrote ineffective statements of work for the services outsourced
  7. Failed to strategize an exit procedure before terminating the outsourcing contract
  8. Unrealistic expectations
  9. Lack of best practices for hospital IT outsourcing established
  10. Did not monitor the performance of the contracted outsourcer

No Stranger to Outsourcing Health IT Needs

Black Book also stated that the healthcare industry is no stranger to IT outsourcing. Contractors have provided care and service coverage clinically from radiology to therapies, and administrative work such as billing, collections and transcription for decades. But, the last time healthcare provider industry saw a boon like this in Health IT outsourcing was in the late 1990s.

Looking ahead to the future, Black Book also found that hospital leaders seem to know where they’re heading with Health IT outsourcing as well. A vast majority of hospital executives agreed that outsourcing to various vendors is the best decision for the hospital or health system, and that it would be best to reshape an entire practice in order to implement outsourced IT services in the most effective and efficient manner.

So, You’re Looking to Outsource too?

The question of whether to outsource your Health IT needs or to keep the process in-house is one that weighs heavily on many doctors and practice owners. But, the right decision depends on your practice’s needs, the age of the business, the size and talent pool of local coders, the state of our finances, and many other considerations.

Check out our blog on outsourcing your medical billing needs, or contact us to chat more about the many ways AntWorks can help your practice today!


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