BPOs across India are looking to standardize procedures and office environments in accordance with US requirements. This move has become beneficial to those in the healthcare department especially for nurses, medical coders, actuaries, biostatisticians and medical writers.
Companies like Wipro, Accenture, Cognizant and iGate are hiring nurses, specifically nurses who have successfully completed the National Council Licensure Examination in the US. The licensing exam ensures that the nurses are qualified to work in the healthcare department.
The number game
Advisory and consulting firm Knowledgefaber was quoted talking about the nurses salaries in BPOs, “These nurses are paid up to Rs. 3 lakh per annum at the entry level; this goes up to Rs 10-14 lakh per annum for those with 6 years of experience.”
These salary figures have software professionals rethinking whether it is only the software jobs that pay big numbers. Reliable sources from leading software companies claim that the increased demand for nurses is fueled by health insurance companies outsourcing care management and pre-service nursing.
A workplace necessity
Nurses are relied on in companies like Accenture, Cognizant and others, to provide an initial assessment of the patient’s condition, determine the best course of treatment, authorize or refuse health care demands as the case may demand. Nurses are also relied on to analyze clinical documentation and provide explanations about health concerns to the patients. A nurse available 24/7 on call is fast becoming a work place necessity with the odd and long hours of software work.
The insurance decisions
An actuary is a person who designs the type and amount of insurance available to a person. They are required to analyze future risk possibilities and put a price tag on insurance policies. To become a certified actuary, a student has to go through a rigorous course involving 14 subjects of study.
Actuary certifications from the Institute of Actuaries of India, Society of Actuaries in the US, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in UK and Institute of Actuaries of Australia are reputed and widely acknowledged in healthcare domains across the world. With regulations in the outsourcing arena evolving to include healthcare, the demand for actuaries has also risen exponentially.
The healthcare domain in outsourcing companies was earlier strictly confined to maintaining patient records and filing bills. With the transition from ICD9 to ICD 10, life insurance exchanges and the requirement to conform to the latest US patient protection and affordable care act, changes were but inevitable.
ICD refers to the International Classification of Diseases. It is a code, an alphanumeric designation assigned to each disease and its symptoms. The ICD 9 was formulated nearly thirty years ago. The system was outdated by the influx of latter systems of classification and identifying symptoms, hence the move to replace ICD9 with ICD10.
A widening avenue of healthcare services
The number of employees in outsourcing companies are exponentially increasing with every passing month. For a picture of the kind of numbers in software companies, Cognizant employs over 2,000 healthcare professionals including doctors, clinicians, nurses and biostatisticians. Omega, a BPO that specializes in healthcare is adding between 150-180 employees to its 4,000 strong team every month. WNS, has a repertoire of over 160 actuaries, one of the largest teams of actuaries.
Of all the companies, Cognizant is marshalling every effort to make the company the very best in providing healthcare services. The company recently acquired and integrated Medicall, with over 600 licensed healthcare professionals including nurses, pharmacists and physicians. The company is now fully equipped to deliver fully customizable medical management solutions to US based healthcare organizations.
R. Chandrasekaran, group chief executive, technology and operations at Cognizant was quoted as saying, “As part of this acquisition, our healthcare business process services operations have been accredited by Utilization Review Accreditation Commission that enables us to offer specialized clinical services, further extending our reach into the health insurer’s value chain.”
In the same vein, WNS group CEO, Keshav R Murugesh announced that the company has adopted an incentive method to push people to become specialists in their fields. For example, the company hires entry level actuaries and encourages them through incentives, to complete an actuary course that certifies their abilities.
Outsourcing companies are looking to widen the healthcare avenue by deepening their certified employee base and restructuring their own databases to include the latest in the healthcare domain.