Outsourcing hospital jobs to India

 

Boston area Partners HealthCare will outsource some expensive, back-office jobs to India, according to the Boston Globe. About 100 employees are being let go by Partners HealthCare. Their jobs are being outsourced to India.

Partners is the 73,000-empoyee parent company of Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s hospitals. Like other Massachusetts health care providers, the organization is required by state law to keep its spending growth to 3.1% a year.

“We need to do things to improve productivity in health care,” said Partners’ chief executive, Dr. David Torchiana. “I don’t know of another . . . sector that doesn’t outsource call centers and back-office functions.” The large hospital network is several months into a three-year plan to slash $500 million to $800 million in costs.

Technology, financial services, and health insurance companies for years have outsourced jobs that can be done remotely on a computer by reliable, cheaper workers in countries including India and the Philippines. Industry analysts say hospitals are now moving in this direction — though cautiously.

A survey of employers in 2016 by the consulting form Deloitte found that outsourcing across industries was growing, despite predictions of its demise. And a survey of 400 US hospitals last year by a health information professional association found that about 25 have sent coding jobs overseas.

In the early 2000s, hospitals explored hiring radiologists in India to interpret imaging tests. The experiment largely “died a natural death,’’ in part because US rules require physicians to be licensed in the same state as their patients, said Dr. Sanjay Saini, a Mass. General radiologist. There are less-stringent rules for coders. Hospitals decide what certification and experience coders must have.

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