Rising Healthcare Costs and Outsourcing | healthcare

The cost of healthcare in the US has been steadily increasing in the past few years, and according to some projections by consultancy firms, the trend will continue. This has lead to increasing acceptance of outsourcing by different hospitals and healthcare providers across the country. Information technology, medical transcription, medical billing, and medical coding outsourcing have been increasing in response to the need to reduce cost.Healthcare Costs On the RiseOn the 15th of September, New York based consultancy firm, Towers Watson (NYSE:TW), projected an 8.2% increase in employer health care costs for 2011. According to Ron Fontanetta, senior health care consultant with Towers Watson, “Employees today are adjusting to historically lower-than-average merit pay increases, while at the same time facing higher health care contributions, copays and deductibles. This combination could adversely affect many employees and intensify the growing affordability crisis.”Meanwhile, Chicago based company, Hewitt Associates (NYSE:HEW), estimates that it may be as much as 9%. In Chicago, the projection is as high as 12.4%. The figure is the highest it’s been in five years.In a statement by Hewitt’s health care practice leader Ken Sperling said, “Employers continue to struggle to balance the significant health care needs of an aging workforce with the economic realities of a difficult business environment.”The report attributes the increase to an aging workforce, coupled with increasing costs of technology as well as the health care reform act.Cost And OutsourcingThere’s certainly no doubt that the cost of healthcare is increasing and in response, healthcare providers and hospitals are struggling to maximize revenue while minimizing expenses in order to reduce the cost on consumers.One example is Hendrick Medical Center, who, on the 7th of September, signed a managed service and recruitment process outsourcing contract with AMN Healthcare Services (NYSE:AHS). Ralph Henderson, AMN President for the Nursing and Allied divisions, said that the contract would result in, “lower bill rates and operational costs, reduced liability and mitigated insurance risks, and increased compliance with clinical standards.”Outsourcers in the meantime are expanding into the healthcare space in order to take advantage of the opportunity.As MaryAnne Pace, co-founder of company, Health BluePrints stated, “Healthcare providers are looking for solutions to increase net cash, achieve revenue cycle performance improvement, enhance operational efficiency, and improve overall patient and physician satisfaction.” The company was recently acquired by NCO Group, who along with the acquisition also released a new end-to-end Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) solution on the 13th of September.Another company moving into the healthcare space is Tricom India (NSE:TRICOM), who is currently acquiring US healthcare service provider GTESS Corporation. The news announced on the 14th of September came after Tricom India announced that it recently secured a five-year contract from a US-based healthcare firm for $10 million. Meanwhile, Conifer Health Solutions also announced an acquisition on the 28th of September. The company is acquiring MediHealth Outsourcing in order to strengthen its position in the healthcare outsourcing space.Healthcare NumbersAs the trend of rising healthcare continues, healthcare providers and hospitals are looking to reduce costs, and at this point one of the solutions they are turning to is outsourcing – an opportunity that outsourcers are gearing to take advantage of. Healthcare, just like any other business, has to worry about the numbers.

The High Cost of Not Having an Online Marketing Strategy | Online marketing

B2B and industrial companies are slow to embrace online marketing. It’s a curious reluctance given that online marketing is performance-driven, pays for itself, and consistently delivers new, qualified business that can mean dramatic increases in sales and growth.So, why are some companies sometimes reticent about using online marketing when the benefits in terms of exposure and revenue are so substantial? We thought we’d seek out those with the answers.Direct From the SourceWe talked to CEOs and Marketing Managers of companies that have embraced online marketing. These industry leaders are quick to confirm that Internet marketing more than pays for itself. In addition, in a short period of time online marketing has become a critical, indispensable channel for generating customer awareness and sales directly enhancing the bottom line.The message from industry insiders clear: The risk involved with online marketing is small. The rewards are infinite.We asked a number of your B2B colleagues what it would have cost them to delay embracing the power of online marketing. This is what they had to say.Lost BusinessExperts agree that online search has become the primary source of information for those making B2B buying decisions. Most business consumers first turn to a search engine during the investigation phase of their buying process, and just about all of them will use the Internet at some point during the decision-making process. That’s right. Nearly all of them.That’s a staggering fact, and those who have taken advantage of online marketing know this trend is some of the best news in decades for companies willing to exploit the new ways businesses do business.The reliance on search in the buying process means your company has never had a better opportunity to reach and capture new business. But it also means that every day you wait means business lost to your competitors.Online Marketing Pays for ItselfIndustry pros understand the bottom line and the need for measurable returns on any investment, especially when it comes to spends for advertising and marketing. They also understand that online marketing is one of the few methods guaranteed to pay for itself.Online marketing, specifically paid placement and search engine optimization, have a proven track record in giving companies the highest returns of any vehicle in their marketing mix.In addition, online marketing is a low-risk proposition because it’s based on performance. You pay only if a potential customer clicks on your ad. Utilizing that system, the cost of acquiring a customer is dramatically reduced.Those in the know insist online marketing generates 20-50% of the qualified sales leads in industries that have traditionally relied on sales prospecting, word-of-mouth and trade shows.The numbers don’t lie. What is your company waiting for?CompetitionEveryone wants a competitive advantage, but even tried and tested methods can’t keep pace with the monumental strides being made with online marketing.With online marketing, you can fend off your competitors and dominate niche markets. The Internet creates a level playing field where businesses of all sizes can compete. Anyone can stake a position as a leader. What would it be worth to your company to be in that position?And here’s another insight we heard from B2B pros. One of the unique benefits of the Internet is that is affords smaller businesses the chance to appear bigger than they are. Online, a three-person operation can look slicker than an international conglomerate. You can turn this to your advantage with a minimal investment of time and money. Indextree can show you the way.So, why is it important to dive into the world of online marketing now? The hard fact we hear from B2Bs is that once a company entrenches itself in a certain arena online, it’s hard to dislodge it. At the moment, in most industries, search rankings and market dominance aren’t set yet. They will be, and it will cost you more down the road to accomplish what you can accomplish now with far fewer resources.As in most areas of business, in the realm of online marketing, it pays to act decisively..Online Buyers are Ready to BuyThose who have reaped the rewards of online marketing will attest to the fact that customers who research and compare products and services online are much more predisposed to buying. It’s just the nature of the medium. Much of your job of selling is done by the time someone reaches your Web site.In the world of online marketing, your customer is already looking for your product. They’re actively looking to do business with someone. That someone should be you.New competitorsIt’s not something you like to think about, but they’re out there, and they’re after your business. New players are entering your market every day, and they’re capturing your market share.The tools we’re talking about are a double-edged sword. If you don’t capitalize on the benefits of online marketing, do you think your competitors will hesitate to do so? Aggressive, upstart companies are pulling out all the stops, exploiting economies of scale and using online marketing to extend their reach.Don’t just wait and watch while these companies erode the fiscal health of your company. Can you really afford to have these competitors encroach on what you’ve fought so hard to build? It’s time to reclaim what’s yours, and online marketing is the answer.CommoditizationTrust us, we don’t just throw around big words because it makes us feel smart. The Internet has given customers an unprecedented ability to shop and compare, often reducing the buying decision to price alone. But this “commoditization” of products doesn’t do your company justice, and your bottom line may already be suffering because of it.What’s the answer to the problem of commoditization? How do you distinguish yourself? How do you communicate your differentiating qualities to potential customers?Online marketing provides an excellent vehicle for branding and also allows you to capture potential customers earlier in the buying process.Quality business interactions are more than just a price point. Be heard. Stand out. Reap the windfall.Build Buyer Awareness and Drive Traffic Here’s the ugly truth. Many manufacturers and distributors don’t do a great job with their Web sites. We hear this time and time again not only from the CEOs and Marketing Managers, but also from consumers.Site visitors are often frustrated by poor online marketing practices. In fact, studies show two-thirds of B2B site visitors complain they don’t find what they are looking for, and almost half never return to the site as a result. Now, we’re not saying yours is one of those sites. But are you sure you’re turning Web site traffic into sales consistently? What impression are you giving potential customers when they visit your site? Are your customers telling other potential customers how professional and easy-to-use your site is?Online marketing has a lot more to do than simply having a visually appealing Web site. It’s more than simply buying keywords and hoping they’ll bring you more business. Buying unqualified leads from unknown sources is often like putting your money into a kiln.Effective online marketing requires knowledge, strategy, implementation, monitoring, and follow-through. Those are the skills and qualities we pride ourselves on at Indextree.The High Cost of Waiting on the SidelinesAs you read this, there’s a good chance your competitors are working on their online marketing strategies. It’s even possible they’re making inroads into capturing key customer segments you may never be able to recapture.Is business good right now? Sure. Is it great? Could be better. With an effective online marketing strategy, it could be great.So, what’s it costing you to wait?Take it from those who have seen the benefits of online marketing firsthand. Standing on the sidelines has never been so costly.

List Building For Online Business Success | online business

In the current struggling economy of job cuts, pay freezes and ever increasing taxes, more and more new online entrepreneurs are starting their own work-from-home online businesses to supplement their income. These digital entrepreneurs can then start their escape plan from confines of their traditional day job, as their online business grows and becomes more profitable. They can enjoy a new lifestyle, working for themselves, when they want and from where they want.But online business success is not a guarantee. Just because you have a website and some products and services to sell does not mean that the sales and money will come rolling in. The fundamental key for any online business success is to have a list of customers who have bought from you, will buy again or are interested in what you have to offer and will buy from you in the future. This list, normally made up of names and email addresses, is your business. If you have no customers, you have no business.List Building for Online Business Success Entrepreneurs who sell products and services online are often known as affiliates. Some affiliates have lists with tens of thousands of names. Others may only have a few thousand. The affiliate,s online business success comes from the influence that he or she has on that list, not necessarily the number of people on it. If you have influence on a list of 500 people, it can be more valuable than if you have a list of 10,000 to whom you have no influence.
Do the subscribers on your list listen to you?
Do they act on what you suggest?
Do they care when your email arrives in their inbox?
Do you provide them with value?
Online Business Success comes from building a relationship with your listConsider this. Would you listen to a radio station that just broadcast advertisements? Would watch a TV channel that just showed commercials or read a newspaper that was only made up of advertisements. It is doubtful that you would. In the same way, if you are sending out emails and you just bombard your subscribers with hard sell messages, you readers will soon get tired of them and tune out.But if you have built a relationship with your list by providing them with relevant and valuable information, they wil start to realise that you have interesting things to say that provide benefit to them. Building a relationship builds trust. So when you recommend a product or service that you think is good, they will respect your judgement, investigate, and maybe buy, the product for themselves.Starting your list buildingSo if online business success comes from list building, how do you get people on your list in the first place?There are a set step of rules:
You have to drive potential subscriber traffic to a web page that enables people to sumit their name and email address
You have to offer something of value in exchange for their name and email address
Once on your list, you have to continually provide value to your subscribers.
If you want online business success, your list building process needs to be based on giving away helpful and informative information in exchange for a an established relationship. Most customers require 7 to 12 exposures to your products and services before they are going to consider making a purchase.Building an online business does involve work and effort. But it is important to remember that it costs far more to get a new customer in terms of time effort and money that it will to make a sale to a customer that you have already earned trust and a relationship with. As long as you can build a steady list of customers who keep coming back to you and you continue to look after them, you will find online business success.