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Most popular are diagnostic
imaging services

Imaging equipment leads trend toward hospital outsourcing

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
Outsourced service is becoming a popular option among hospitals, according to a new Black Book Market Research survey that included 4,595 participants from 709 hospitals.

Ninety-eight percent of the respondents are considering working with third-party vendors for both clinical and non-clinical functions to cut costs.

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"Outsourcing in the healthcare industry doesn't get the same bad rap other sectors experience, such as banking, insurance, and tech and call centers, where negative stereotypes associated with offshoring and/or full-function outsourcing were largely misinformed," Doug Brown, president of Black Book, said in a statement.

He added that in hospitals, there is a better understanding of the broad spectrum of outsourcing options and how to manage vendors. Hospitals need to conduct background checks on the firms under consideration and obtain information about their history of partnerships with other hospitals.

Teleradiology and medical imaging equipment are the most popular services that hospitals are considering outsourcing. That is because many hospitals don’t have the capital to fund replacement, new and advanced imaging centers.

"For hospitals in financial danger with margin pressures placing the entire hospital workforce at risk, attacking margin by outsourcing one or more areas can actually save jobs in other core departments," said Brown.

In addition, the outsourcing agreements can be structured in a way that doesn’t affect the hospital’s existing staff.

However, about two percent of the respondents don’t consider outsourcing an option because of the negative reaction they anticipate from staff, physicians and the community.

Black Book conducted a supplemental poll last month of 105 vendor executives and found, on average, a six-fold increase in requests for outsourcing proposals since Q4 2016.

According to Black Book, the top-ranked outsourcing vendors include NAPA, TriMedx, Newport Credentialing Solutions, Emergency Staffing Solutions, Atos, Aramark, IPC, PeopleStrategy, XIFIN, Influence Health, Philips Healthcare, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, Agility Health, AMN Healthcare, Owens & Minor and Argus.

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