Matching the supply of appropriately trained nurses with the patients who need them remains a key healthcare challenge. The traditionally intimate, “up close and personal” nature of the nurse/patient relationship has meant that nurses often travel where they are most needed. For years, individuals who have trained in the nursing profession in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, traveled worldwide to care for patients. The global economic crisis changed this equation, stranding many newly minted nurses without jobs at home in the Philippines. Now, through innovative Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), trained nurses in Manila are able to work with patients and providers worldwide once again, helping to deliver better outcomes while solving a serious employment issue in the country. The accompanying video offers examples of the experiences of two such nurses in the program.
The healthcare industry has long valued Manila as a source of trained nurses who speak English fluently. Today, Filipino nurses work everywhere; from American and British hospitals to Japanese care centers to clinics in war-torn Libya and Syria. The 2008-09 financial crisis dramatically reduced these global opportunities, pushing many recent nursing graduates onto unemployment lines. One recent BBC report indicated that over 200,000 registered Filipino nurses were unemployed. Another news story confirms that the country’s 490 nursing colleges graduate up to 100,000 nurses each year – far more than the country can absorb.
Correcting the acute imbalance between the supply of qualified nurses in the Philippines and the need for clinical functions worldwide requires innovative new solutions. While outsourcing has traditionally been off-limits when it comes to clinical care services, looking beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar care model for healthcare management resources makes sense. It opens up employment opportunities for highly qualified nurses in the Philippines and elsewhere while providing a cost-effective, patient-focused solution for payers and providers. By applying BPO techniques a range of applicable clinical functions payers gain a new way to help reach patients that cuts cost, expands service, streamlines operations, and provides positive member experiences.
Individuals with an appropriate level of clinical or medical training can deliver these services by phone or other virtual means, enabling organizations to tap into the global talent pool. Accenture research confirms that health industry players could outsource 70 to 80 percent of utilization management health component services and 10 to 20 percent of care coordination activities such as basic case management, disease management and wellness functions.
Outsourcing clinical functions focused on healthcare management services is a “win-win” solution for health payers/providers, enabling them to tap into a global talent pool cost-effectively, while simultaneously providing new opportunities for nurses in places like Manila.
NOTE: CERTAIN OF THESE FUNCTIONS MAY REQUIRE LICENSURE AND/OR CERTIFICATICATIONS BY CERTAIN INSURANCE AND/OR CLINICAL REGULATORY AUTHORITIES; APPLICABILITY OF REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS WILL IMPACT EXACTLY WHAT A HEALTH INDUSTRY CLIENT CAN OUTSOURCE AND/OR OFFSHORE.
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