Outsourcing’s Increasing Role in the New Healthcare Model

Jan 30, 2014
Heather Ferrence

Director, Corporate Compliance

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It comes as no surprise to anyone that the healthcare landscape has changed dramatically in recent years and there is little doubt that many changes are yet to come; and when they do we’ll have to be agile and adapt once again.

Due to recent changes, many companies are facing a major conundrum — how to remain profitable in this new healthcare model in which companies large and small are being forced to reduce costs and increase efficiencies to new extremes. For many companies, the only answer is to shift to outsourcing and create strategic relationships with third-party partners to assist them with a number of processes such as corporate, regulatory and operational services.

We are seeing the following operations getting pushed to the “experts,” capitalizing on their resources, expertise and infrastructure, among many other things, to remain on the uptick of profitability:

Field Sales Team – Fewer sales teams are meeting with physicians in person.  They are relying on new technologies to expand their reach and frequency to enhance the relationship virtually. Highly-trained agents can build product and brand awareness among physicians, understand customer preferences and educate healthcare professionals during all stages of a product’s life cycle without ever leaving the office, resulting in reduced overhead costs for the company.

Pharmacovigilance – With an ever-increasing emphasis on drug safety and global adverse event management, pharmaceutical companies are turning to partners who can balance high quality adverse event processing and reporting with unpredictable volumes, all while meeting new needs in signaling, surveillance and risk management. Companies are now beginning to spend the time and resources to partner with an expert to quickly investigate the event, communicate it to key stakeholders and detail it to avoid crisis situations later down the line.

Crisis Management Recall Support – During any given recall, the need to make thousands of contacts, often with only hours of advance notice, is the norm. In order to respond appropriately and responsibly, many companies turn to contact center partners with expertise in recalls so their brand can better respond to the high volume of contacts. By outsourcing, the need for “just in case” staff is eliminated, as well as the capital necessary to implement proper recall infrastructure.

Patient Support  – In their efforts to connect with patients and differentiate themselves from the competition, pharmaceutical companies are marketing themselves as “more than the pill” with the addition of patient support lines. However, the support service comes with a hefty price tag and can stray from the company’s core business. With the help of a customer care partner, pharmaceutical companies can now offer support lines with highly-trained professionals, including registered nurses and pharmacists, and provide patient support services like smoking cessation and health coaching, among many others without carrying the burden of committed internal staff.

The Bottom Line

While outsourcing is not a new concept within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, the role it plays is becoming larger and more critical than ever before. Now, instead of a subsidiary role in a company, the third-party partner is playing a more integrated role, contributing services that offer insight, expertise and knowledge and helping pharmaceutical companies meet current growth challenges head on.

 

 

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