The Catalyst … accelerating business growth in healthcare

The Virtues of the Outsourcing Model, Part 4: Examining Culture

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, May 11, 2011 @10:11 AM

In our final installment on the virtues of the outsourcing model, we examine the third factor you should consider when evaluating whether outsourcing could improve the productivity and financial climate of your company. Robert Ryan’s position paper on the topic of outsourcing posited that restructuring how companies utilize their human capital, or, in other words, their workforce in-house and elsewhere, will affect how profitable they will be in the future. Ryan suggests that by increasing a company’s agility, or the speed at which they are able to adapt, it will be more likely to weather the many changes to come in the business world.

We have already examined how capacity and capability can affect a company’s decision to outsource. Culture ranks as the third factor that should be considered before making the leap to outsourcing. As Ryan asks, “Do the current organizational norms and values support the development and implementation of the strategy?”

While culture can also refer to the acceptability of this practice in a certain office, it also relates to the acceptability of outsourcing in a particular industry. Ryan points to technology as an industry particularly well-suited to outsourcing. “Competition for specialized technological expertise is found on the world market,” he writes. “With the rise of efficient collaboration capabilities, services can be found in many emerging countries of the world…. Because of technology improvements, work groups can all be brought into our living rooms.”

The health care industry also offers a culture that allows for ad hoc collaboration to fill any gaps in capacity and capability that may exist in one company. Here at EHM we not only serve as the link to connecting health care suppliers with the group purchasing organizations (GPOs), accountable care organizations (ACOs) and integrated delivery networks (IDNs), but we can also handle all of your marketing, advertising and selling needs for you. If you need help determining if these options are right for you, contact us, and we can talk you through the entire process and answer any questions that you have.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, marketing, EHM, healthcare, hospitals, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, Regulations on ACOs, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations, gpos, outsourcing model, IDNs, integrated delivery networks, patient satisfaction

The Virtues of the Outsourcing Model, Part 3: Examining Capability

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Thu, May 05, 2011 @09:59 AM

Over the past two weeks, we have begun to examine the outsourcing model and how to determine if it is right for your company. Over the past decade, outsourcing has become more of a reality than ever before thanks to technological advances that allow people to work together no matter where their office is.

Last week, diminished staff capacity in light of the economic downturn was discussed. Capability serves as the counterpart to capacity. Without the optimal staff capacity a company has become accustomed to, its capability surely will be diminished as well. And from there, performance may begin to decline as a result. This is what all companies hope to avoid in the face of layoffs. As fewer employees take on more work, quality begins to suffer, and previously handled tasks begin to fall down the cracks.

The leading causes of a decline in capability will be the loss of institutional experience, knowledge, special skills and historical competencies. In addition to layoffs because of economic constraints, the generational shift in the workforce likely will also contribute to diminished capability. Because younger workers are likely to work at five to six times as many companies as their older counterparts, their own general business acumen is likely to suffer as well. Instead, these workers will only have the time to learn the one aspect of the company they are involved in as opposed to receiving the institutional, years-long education of how an organization runs that their parents did. As Robert Ryan states in his position paper on outsourcing, “The generational trend is toward specialization, further diluting the general business cognition.”

With layoffs and the generational shift of the workforce, companies will begin to see gaps in their capabilities. That is where outsourcing comes in. How have you used outsourcing to fill capability gaps?

 


Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, EHM, healthcare, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations, gpos, outsourcing model, integrated delivery networks

The Virtues of the Outsourcing Model, Part 2: Examining Capacity

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 @10:13 AM

As discussed in last week’s post, economic difficulties and technological advances have combined to make outsourcing more of a compelling and intriguing option for companies than ever before. By allowing companies to maximize limited financial resources, the outsourcing model may be exactly what your company needs.

In Robert Ryan’s recent position paper on the topic, he repeatedly refers to a need to make companies agile, which better allows for course corrections in times of rapid change, like now. When it comes to agility, size will always be a factor, no matter if it is comparing the way a sports car whips around corners in comparison to the much larger minivan or in seeing how small companies can make changes much more simply than larger ones. In fact, the workforce itself is becoming more agile, with the average Baby Boomer expected to work for only two to three companies throughout his or her career, while members of generations X and millennium will likely average 15-18 tenures at different companies.

When capacity shrinks, a company may no longer have the size of the workforce necessary to handle all tasks and strategies. With a smaller capacity, organizations begin to struggle with completing the functions they completed prior to the downsizing, much less be able to actually keep up with technological advances and changes in the industry. Once a company reaches a point where it can no longer keep pace with its competitors, then it is no longer agile.

Also, as the number of employees of many businesses has dwindled down to a core staff as a result of the economic downswing, many people are now doing multiple jobs, and with more people changing jobs at different companies than ever before, it makes sense that workers are no longer perfectly suited and trained for every aspect of their positions. Rather than allow quality and service to deteriorate in the wake of this situation, it makes more and more sense for companies to carefully examine the capacity of their workforce in terms of not only numbers but also capabilities, which we will discuss in more depth next week.

As Ryan states, “Too expensive to hire and train, most organizations acquire expertise episodically for strategic initiatives. This includes increasing capability and capacity over a short, definable period of business or technical transition.” How have you seen capacity make a difference when a company is considering outsourcing? How do you determine which functions your team can handle in-house and which can be outsourced? How do you determine when a company should take on added capacity to achieve a goal?

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, EHM, healthcare, medical, hospitals, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, Regulations on ACOs, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations, gpos, outsourcing model, IDNs, integrated delivery networks

ACO Regulations Defined by HHS

Posted by Stan Schroeder on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 @11:05 AM

The US Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC) released regulations on accountable care organizations (ACOs), providing rules to enable organizations in setting up exchanges of healthcare data to improve care and reduce costs, as mandated under the Accountable Care Act. A press release was distributed at the end of March detailing the announcement and includes links to the specific regulations.

ACOs are pivotal to the federal government's plan to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality. Some providers, such as Intermountain Health (Salt Lake City, UT), have been using an approach that's something similar to ACOs for years. Collaborations between doctors and other providers make care more uniform, based on the best outcomes. Often, this care is also the most cost-effective. Some have called ACOs the HMOs of today.

EHM has the experience and knowledge to help guide suppliers through this new market structure.  We can provide product marketing and positioning support, make appropriate introductions and get you in front of the right decision-makers to help make you more successful.

Tags: Essential Healthcare Management, Schroeder, Ripullo, EHM, healthcare, ACO, Accountable Care Organizations, healthcare suppliers, HHS, Regulations on ACOs, ACO Regulations, ACOs and suppliers, HHS Regulations