Many households seek home healthcare services to care for aging parents or ill individuals so they can be looked after in the best possible way and provided with assistance whenever required.
As the number of home healthcare agencies continues to be on the rise, the costs of these services are also increasing. This has led to a growing trend of home healthcare services outsourcing various elements of their operations to function smoothly and contain their costs at the same time. However, deciding to outsource is not easy, and it makes sense to evaluate the pros and cons of outsourcing in home healthcare so you can make an informed decision.
The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing in Home Healthcare
While home healthcare business process outsourcing allows the agency to have more operational flexibility and reduce its operating costs, it also implies giving up control of some aspects, which may seem challenging.
Pros of Outsourcing in Home Healthcare
- Reduce costs- Outsourcing can allow the home health care service to reduce costs incurred on salaries and service delivery. You do not need to employ in-house teams for various non-core operations or invest in employment or employee training. Instead, you can focus on the core areas and devote your energy to seeking employee satisfaction.
- Reduce administrative burden- The home healthcare agency can reduce the administrative burden on its staff by outsourcing its care management services like planning and coordination and also improve its patient outcomes by having a dedicated workforce focusing on patient assessment and provision of requisite care.
- Access to skilled workforce- Outsourcing allows the home healthcare agency access to skilled professionals and leverages their skills and expertise to perform complex tasks, solve problems and render excellent patient care services.
- Improve accuracy- Outsourcing medical transcription services, including patient reports and medical notes, allows the agency to not only lessen the administrative burden on its staff but also achieve more accuracy by reducing documentation errors. Similarly, if the billing and collections functions are outsourced, the agency can reduce its billing errors and improve its cash flows, increasing its profitability.
- Increase reach- The healthcare agency can use healthcare outsourcing to provide remote monitoring services to patients in far-off areas or facing logistics or geographical constraints.
Cons of Outsourcing in Home Healthcare
- Communication challenges- If the healthcare agency outsources its services, it may be hard to maintain efficient communication with the outsourced service provider. This can lead to misunderstandings in some aspects, service delays, and even errors in some areas, which can cause client dissatisfaction. Hence, it is important to maintain consistent communication with the outsourced company.
- Lack of Training- If the home healthcare agency works with an outsourced company that has not provided the employees with proper education and training on using products and providing services, it may become a problem for the agency. It is because the outsourced workers may make errors and cause delays in services or even excessive expenses. It is why it is essential to thoroughly vet the company before it is employed for outsourcing and ensure that its staff is adequately trained.
- Inconsistency or delay in services– One common drawback that home healthcare agencies may face when outsourcing is inconsistency or delay in the service. This may happen if the staff members are unable to cater to patient requests within a certain time. At times, the services may be delayed by weeks or even months which can put the patients and put the reputation of the home healthcare agency at stake.
As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to outsourcing in home healthcare. However, if the drawbacks to outsourcing are taken on as a challenge and measures are employed to ensure that these issues do not arise, the benefits of outsourcing can far outweigh the challenges.
Outsourcing can be extremely cost-effective and enable the agency to improve its operational efficiency and patient care services. However, to make the most out of outsourcing, the home healthcare agency must ensure that it employs the right service provider with the relevant expertise and a good reputation in the market.