Health crises such as COVID-19 pandemic are putting a strain in the healthcare system. In the lens of health insurance, policy cancellations add a different level of burden. While the government has support implementations such as Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding in helping businesses retain employees, there is still an expected increase in policy cancellations as a result of unemployment and the overall economic downturn. It is also uncertain as to whether the government will provide relief to the insurance industry.
Despite the increased insurance cancellations, health insurance companies are taking the toll on paying for expensive tests and treatments for those policyholders that have COVID-19 coverage. According to American Academy of Actuaries, insurance companies without large cash reserves could have problems because of expenses related to COVID-19 care and the widespread waiving of cost sharing, including for treatment. It is then very important for insurers to have accurate medical coding and billing processes to avoid mistagging insurance coverage and making sure that cash flow is managed correctly.
Although the US administration declared a national emergency by granting HHS authority to waive certain Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP policies, pandemics are a phenomenon that not all health insurance companies have prepared for. There will be confusions over what the blanket waivers do insurance policies cover in an attempt to manage health crises with a finite amount of resources.
To track the spread of coronavirus and get paid for testing and treating, having accurate billing and coding processes are the key in helping providers in overcoming the challenges of a pandemic now and in the future. Also, having accurately coded medical procedures streamlines communication across the health system and reduces administrative rework decreasing costs at a time especially with the scarcity of resources. Prior to the pandemic, health insurance companies are already facing high volume of claims and billing errors. When the economy reopens, there will be a definit surge in medical claims and billing.
But since this is a new health crisis that health insurance companies are facing, some treatments and procedures will fall under the denial management system.
How, then, can you effectively manage denial claims in times of crisis?
Understand how and why claims are denied at the first place
Knowing why claims were denied is important in streamlining your process to maximize your collections revenue and preventing future denied claims from happening. Since most if not all of the patients are knowledgeable about the insurance denial system, it is your job to educate them on how they can solve the issue. But you can only do so if you and your team members are aware of the reasons for denied claims. This will also give you an avenue to create action plans on organizing and creating a system in place to keep track of your denials.
Many health insurance companies and hospitals are adopting tools and technologies in assisting them in tracking the ‘when’ and ‘why’ the claims are being lost in the shuffle. This will help your company in managing denials and keeping an eye on which ones still need attention in the best way to maximize denial collections revenue. Keeping track of denied claims will help you see which areas in your denial management process are working and which need further support. Documenting both wins and losses, in regards to your unpaid claims helps in improving the efficiency of your organization and sticking close to the analytics in your strategy in denial management.
Identifying common denial trends and updates in medical codes
Being aware of the common denials is a crucial component of establishing an effective denial management process. Although each health organization may have a unique list, there are top causes for coding and billing denials common to every health insurance company which are; Coordination of Benefits, PIP Applications, Accident Details, Pre-existing Conditions, Name Misspellings and new emerging illness and diseases.
These denials may seem like a small problem initially but with continued tracking and analysis it may reveal larger issues within your health insurance company. Creating a system in the denial management strategy of your organization helps ensure that these problems are addressed on the set and also creates foresight for trends five years from now. Plan ahead, and you may see your list of common denials start to lessen.
Being updated with the new codes in enabling COVID-19 tracking and billing can help in capturing testing and treatment claims. CDC announced in March that it has added the new International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) emergency code created by the World Health Organization earlier this year. According to official guidance from the CDC, health insurance providers should only use U07.1 to document a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 as documented by the provider, per documentation of a positive COVID-19 test result, or a presumptive positive COVID-19 test result. Being aware of these updates and codes also helps in decreasing denied claims.
Outsourcing denial management process and team
It is then very crucial for health insurance companies to minimize their operational cost and secure accurate medical coding and billing processes to avoid mistagging of insurance coverage and making sure that cash flow is managed correctly especially in the midst of the recovery phase caused by the pandemic. Having a team of reliable and experienced medical coders, billers and claims processors who are crucial to accurately translate patient data into alphanumeric codes and properly tag which treatment and tests are covered by the insurance plan to make sure that the medical expenses are accounted for correctly and accurately.
Partnering with a reputable & trusted outsourcing company that specializes in Revenue Cycle Management services and has expertise in denial management. Top denial management providers build great teams of highly trained billers and coders that are working with, negotiating and navigating the complexities of the insurance system. By outsourcing your denial management tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on the core areas of your business that require your attention. When choosing which outsourced company to partner with, there are two questions you should ask:
- Will they ensure exceeding customer satisfaction?
- Will their claims management assistance refute denied claims and increase cash flow?
Expanding other non-clinical related concerns such as medical billing, coding, claims and health insurance processing by partnering with an outsourcing company that is an expert in the Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) process who can provide these extended services virtually can be one of your key weapons in keeping your healthcare business afloat. This team can help in accounts receivable management including follow-ups of unpaid claims and resolution of denials. They can also take care of filing claims to health insurance carriers, post payments received, send patient statements and stay updated with the trends and changes that may affect client’s reimbursements. This results in >95% claims accuracy, 1 hour turnaround time and minimal to none denied claims by getting it right the first time.
At Infinit-O Global, we build great teams of medical billers, medical coders, clinical and medical abstractors that resolve claims denied by medical insurance carriers, stay up-to-date with the changes that affect client’s reimbursements and understand how the medical insurance industry works. Our aim is to create long lasting partnerships and endless opportunities for your business to grow on top of saving at least 70% on operational cost. We render a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, HIPAA– and GDPR-compliant, so your company and data are safe with us.
Infinit-O Global’s aim is to create long lasting partnerships and endless opportunities for your institution to grow while managing the sudden demand for healthcare. We render a strong understanding in medical review and analyzing clinical abstractors for health institution consultancy, process optimization, Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) process and outsourced healthcare services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients.
Let’s work together to Build a Great Denials Management Team.
Historically, healthcare is immune to business vulnerability during a recession because there will always be a constant need for care and treatment as illness and diseases happen with or without crisis. Hence, the demand for healthcare is relatively constant across a business cycle. However, some crises such as a pandemic have a different tale to tell. Implementations such as physical distancing and lockdowns to reduce the risk of virus spread has affected the mobilization of healthcare across the country and across the globe and health care offices are feeling the pinch.
Not a single company in healthcare is not at risk for business vulnerability in any type of crisis. Especially with a health-related crisis, the bulk of the responsibility is carried by the providers of clinical care. If this won’t be contained and the curve of spread doesn’t decrease through time, the effect of a crisis upon the health and care system poses a vulnerability in the industry and goes beyond economic concerns.
As of this writing, the COVID-19 pandemic has reached 3.51 millions cases with over 248,310 deaths and 1,156,991 recovered individuals. The US is now top one in terms of number of infected people, higher than China where the virus first spread. In only 2 months, China was able to flatten the curve of infection through aggressive testing and quarantine efforts. Another country that successfully flattened the curve of the pandemic is South Korea by preventing and delaying the spread of virus so that large portions of the population do not get sick at the same time. These countries were able to stamp out COVID-19 as soon as possible through:
- Encouraging physical distancing
- Encouraging working from home
- Closing schools and other institutions
- Placing hard limits on the size of crowds at events
Without treatment and vaccines available, physical distancing is about the only key to limit the spread of the virus. Reopening businesses and other non-essential commodities when physical distancing measures are in place throughout the country can halt in flattening the infection curve. Yet, enhancing and mobilizing the healthcare industry through telehealth into adapting to the new normal is one key measure to control and limit the pandemic. Now, what is telehealth and how does it help in flattening the curve?
Telehealth is a virtual platform that allows healthcare interactions such as promoting long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, and public health and health administration. The number one job for everyone is to avoid being a carrier or a distributor of the virus. Therefore, virtual healthcare such as telehealth can free up medical staff and equipment needed for those who become seriously ill from COVID-19 especially the people with greater risks like 60 years old and over, children, individuals with underlying health conditions and those with compromised immune systems. Keeping people apart and not congregating in small spaces such as clinics and hospitals can thwart the virus to roam from one person to another or as we all know as physical distancing. But keeping healthcare professionals apart from patients is called medical distancing and can be accomplished through telehealth.
How then can it flatten the curve?
Think of it this way, suspected and probable patients can stay at home and treat the flu-like symptoms instead of going to the hospital. Aside from the influx of patients in and out the hospital, staying at home can limit the spread of virus that can possibly infect medical frontliners. But of course, these people still need ample treatment from professionals. This is where telehealth comes in. Through the use of video chat or phone call, medical providers can call in to assess and gather information to find out whether care is urgently needed, or self-monitor of symptoms at home is more advisable. It can also be used for regular check-ins during recovery, as needed.
Sad but true, there are more than 100 healthcare professionals per institution under quarantine because they face head on and are exposed to infected people which in return raises concern on workforce capacity. If the spread will not be managed sooner, it will come to a point that supply of healthcare professionals will not meet the overwhelming demand.
Another beauty of telehealth is balancing the load through disseminating the needed care to thousands of online clinicians. This helps medical facilities struggling to better serve patients during peak periods of the outbreak. Through telehealth, those under quarantine may still extend a helping hand through virtual check ups and consultations freeing up clinicians in performing in-person care.
While the number of outbreaks is spiralling, the need for healthcare does not exempt those people with high risk non-COVID-19 related illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cancer. Telehealth can come in handy beyond treating COVID-19 related cases by providing options to other routine care to the elderly and other high-risk patients. This is a calculated strategy to protect non-covid related patients from exposure while not limiting routine care. Limiting their exposure in the waiting room, emergency room or at the doctor’s office promotes decreasing their risk in contracting the virus especially since these people are more often than not immunocompromised.
Now if there will be an increased use of telehealth, what’s next?
If most health institutions use telehealth there will be a significant surge for online waiting queue and virtual healthcare providers may get overburdened. Streamlining up-front screening questionnaires, chatbots, and AI tools aid in making health processes and patient encounters more efficient for clinicians. The strategy of getting patient information while on hold helps practitioners by having already available data about medical history, symptoms, and other information needed to accurately diagnose.
It is also important to partner with an outsourcing company that can provide a team of healthcare professionals who can help manage the patient influx from this outbreak with the best healthcare practices at hand. The right outsourcing company can catapult the healthcare industry amidst the crisis by helping get clinicians working as quickly as possible where they’re needed most and at the same time targeting key metrics such as quality improvements in telehealth, decreased turnaround time for claims management, savings operation cost and most importantly access to the right pool of talents in the telehealth field – all while adhering in keeping health risks low through the beauty of being able to perform administrative tasks and support despite geographical distance.
Here at Infinit-O, we understand the impact of telehealth’s contribution in flattening the curve of this pandemic. Operational support and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) support such as patient concierge, medical review specialist and other patient inquiry-related needs to back up production capacity and freeing clinicians from answering phone calls and responding to appointment inquiries. They can also help oversee the day to day peer review process from acceptance of medical cases for review, facilitating first level screening if applicable and preparation of case review documents to be endorsed to doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers.
We build great teams of registered nurses, clinical data processors, patient engagement specialists, medical coders, certified medical billers for claims concerns, clinical and medical abstractors among others. Our aim is to create long lasting partnerships and endless opportunities for your institution to grow while managing the sudden demand for healthcare. We render a strong understanding in medical review and analyzing clinical abstaractors for health institution consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced healthcare services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients.
We are ISO-certified, HIPAA– and GDPR-compliant, so your company and patient data are safe with us. HIPAA-compliant companies can provide telehealth services during state emergencies and can transmit any health information in electronic form.
By expanding consultation services and other health related concerns such as billing, claims and insurance through telehealth in partnership with an outsourcing company that can provide these extended services virtually can be one of the key weapons in flattening the infection curve. Having an organized health triage system aids the existing burden that in-person clinicians are shouldering.
Let’s work together in Building a Great Telehealth Team who can duly respond with the expanding healthcare needs.
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Average read time: 5 mins
- What is Health Informatics
- What does an expert in Health Informatics do?
- Why should we get an expert?
It has become more apparent in this modern time that taking care of our health is not so simple, and it can also be costly and frustrating. Thankfully, with the progress of our technology Health Informatics is reducing the challenges of the medical field such as getting the same information (medical history, test results, allergies, etc) to the nurses, doctors, other healthcare providers and even insurance companies.
First of all, What is Health Informatics? Health Informatics is the collecting, storing, managing, and studying of medical data. This data will be in the form of EMR (electronic medical records) or EHR (electronic health records), and will be given to all their healthcare providers for maximum efficiency. The main difference between the two is that EHR’s records are more broad while EMR is more specific. The data can include but is not exclusive to contact information, medical history, immunizations, patient’s demographics, allergies, laboratory data, vital signs, and current and past medications, and radiology reports.
What a Health Informatics expert will do is develop and manage the systems on which all this data is gathered. They provide the software for the hospitals or wherever they work and keep it safe while also analyzing all the necessary information. This way all the healthcare professionals under the same system have the convenience to access all the data easily. If that hasn’t convinced you yet of the usefulness of it then here are the 2 best reasons to get an expert in Health Informatics.
Improved and Efficient Results
Doctors and nurses provide and consolidate the data of their patients so they can take care of more people quickly and effectively. Since everything is more coordinated and organized, there will be no worrying about scrambling for all the necessary information. Instead the only thing the healthcare professionals will focus on is what was always the priority, the health of their patients. The best thing to remember is that the main purpose of Health Informatics is to help healthcare providers save lives. This happens through organizing patient’s information and records for easy access by any healthcare professional, resulting in a quicker diagnosis and treatment, and minimizing miscommunication between each healthcare department. Especially during a pandemic like COVID-19, having organized patient records help healthcare providers in tracking and classifying those who are patient under monitoring (PUM) or patient under investigation (PUI).
Saving time and money
Thanks to Health Informatics more procedures are being automated rather than being handled manually such as the collection and logging of medical information. This helps free up more time for the doctors, nurses, and hospitals to focus on their patients and even leads to saving more money because less work is done. Through proper handling of the information more lives will be saved by avoiding medication errors which killed 550 people daily in 2017, in the US. In the US the healthcare cost due to adverse drug events (taking the wrong medication) was about 136 billion dollars. Other errors can also be because of doctor’s handwriting, misreading orders, poor communication, and poor documentation. An expert equipped with Health Informatics literacy can greatly reduce the costs of healthcare and improve the lives of both patients and caretakers.
The world is full of complex and specialized diseases, and the human body is still not fully understood. Problems such as lost medical information, slow or lacking results should not be an issue that hospitals or patients face in these trying times. People deserve the best care that can be provided for them.
At Infinit-O Global, we build great teams. Our goal is to create long lasting partnerships with our clients; rendering a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, HIPAA– and GDPR-compliant, so your company and data are safe with us.
We understand the value of Health Informatics and how it can drastically improve the lives of those using it. Our priority is to improve your healthcare business through our state of the art technological solutions. We can help provide you with an expert in Healthcare Informatics that has proficiency in information technology, skills in project and data management, and excellent with strategy and planning. It could be a nurse informatics, chief medical information officer, director of clinical informatics, clinical data analyst, or an IT consultant that specializes in Health Informatics. The main goal is to help save lives, and we can achieve that if we work together.
Let’s Build a Great Team for you – starting with Healthcare Informatics.
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Every physician knows that when patients are happy they are likely to become their most loyal advocates. Making your patients happy is important not just because it affects patient retention and clinical outcomes but because they also need emotional support and care at every stage of the treatment. Right from the time when patients enter your facility to the day they return home, it is your facility’s responsibility to offer assistance and care for leaving a lasting impression.
Especially with the influx of people visiting hospitals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of each and every patient, may it be a Suspected Case, Probable Case or a Confirmed patient are all equally crucial. These people are not only looking for diagnosis and treatment but are also seeking assurance that they can overcome the novel virus.
When a healthcare provider leaves an excellent first impression on patients, they can promote their services through word of mouth or social media channels.
Thanks to these new and unique platforms, health practitioners can enjoy steady growth. Today’s businesses can expand their services through social media marketing and promotional campaigns both online and offline. However, that does not undermine the role their patients play in promoting their services.
Word of mouth promotion and testimonials work better than ads because people pay more attention to the experiences of their friends and relatives. That’s one of the reasons why this type of promotion yields consistent and profitable outcomes.
When your happy customers become your most prominent and most influential advocates, they convince their friends, family, and network connections to try out your services at least once.
In addition to providing quality services to your patients, here are some of the most useful tips through which your customers can become your strongest advocates.
Outsource Patient Concierge
The amount of patient inquiries, appointment setting, medical history taking, organizing patient’s records up to medical claims and billing coming in on a regular day is already in large volumes. But during health crises these numbers spiral up to twice the expected figure. When you outsource patient concierge, you work with specialists who assist patients during their first or 100th interaction with a medical facility taking care of not just medical claims but also assist patients with other medical related concerns.
Outsourcing companies can offer flexible and customized solutions to optimize your business. Whether you need a small or large team of healthcare specialists such as Patient Concierge Specialists, Nurse Triage Experts, Clinical Abstractors, Medical Review Specialists, Medical Billers and Coders among others can take care of many operations from telemedicine to medical billing and claims management up to appointment setting. By taking care of your patients you can then focus on improving your core services.
These qualified professionals answer the inquiries and concerns of your patients and facilitate them in completing their check-in processes. Partnering with a company who builds great teams of patient concierge specialists can help you provide an ultimate patient experience to your expanding business.
Engage New Patients
Do not lose the opportunity of making a new patient your brand ambassador. Whenever a new patient walks into your clinic, facility, or hospital, make sure you leave a lasting impression. Greeting your patients the right way also plays a crucial part in making a new customer happy. Make some effort to know them better so you can provide a more personalized treatment plan.
A hospital’s management or staff performs various tests and tasks on every patient and the best approach your staff should take is to explain each step of the way. This technique helps patients to relax, and they do not feel uncomfortable during any aspect of the treatment.
Generally, it is the little comments and small gestures that go a long way to make your patients feel safe and happy. Whenever a doctor or a staff member is discussing any health conditions, he/she should make eye contact with the patient. Remember to put yourself in their place. How would you feel, and what would you expect out of healthcare providers and medical treatment you ought to receive?
Our emphasis should be on fostering and nurturing patient-clinician relationships. Caring for patients when they need it the most helps medical facilities to create and retain patients. During the treatment, medical professionals may need to break the bad news to the patient or his family. Showing empathy and care can help patients cope up better and value your services even more.
Create Targeted Content on Social Media
When you interact with your patients online, remember to provide correct, useful, and unbiased information. Focus on producing the most relevant and only high-quality content for your audience. Research the standard terms and keywords that a large part of your audience uses to search every day. Use these keywords as a guideline to create tips, messages, articles, blogs, and posts for educating your patients.
Creating a social media calendar will help you post different types of content throughout the year. When you offer valuable content to your patients, it builds your credibility. Your audience awaits your posts and shares your content within their network.
Share Tweets and Posts
Apart from creating your unique content, your team should carefully choose success stories and your patients’ experiences online. You can also encourage your satisfied and happy patients to spread the word by sharing their experiences on your pages.
Sharing content that your patients create is digital gold. This type of content is authentic, generates leads, and promises organic traffic to your business website. Testimonials on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other channels and sharing uplifting stories grab the attention of potential customers.
Offer Excellent Services
No tweets, likes and posts will offer long-term results if you do not provide excellent services. Your patients will never become your advocates if you fail to diagnose their symptoms or mistreat (reword – positive) your patients.
A great team works because every team member shares the same goals and visions to achieve targets. If you want to be a household name, your team must work with an open-minded approach for improving and offering transparent services. Remember that customer advocacy is rooted in patient satisfaction and the best services.
When you provide state-of-the-art services to your patients, they automatically become your biggest cheerleaders.
Take Pleasure in Your work
Take the history of any successful healthcare provider or hospital, and you will find one thing in common. They all love serving humanity. Although practicing medicine and/or running a medical facility is a type of business, you will be challenged to accomplish any long-term goals if you don’t do it with all your heart.
Providing care is the top priority of any healthcare facility. It contributes to a positive patient recovery experience for improving the mental and physical quality of life for patients with various health conditions. Having the right team to work on non-care related tasks will allow you to focus on offering personalized care that can help patients overcome anxieties and their natural fears.
Acknowledge Negative Feedback
We all make mistakes at some point. The best way to rectify a mistake is to acknowledge it as soon as possible and make amendments if possible. Never cover up an error or place the blame of any wrongdoings on your patient.
In many cases, social media becomes a warzone for nasty comments. Avoid confrontations, be kind always and request all online users to file a complaint offline so that your management can look into the matter. Partnering with professionals who know how to respond to such comments is the best way to avoid creating any problems because they know how to resolve a conflict without offending not just the patients, but their visitors as well.
When your goal is to have an easy and wonderful experience with your patients, you must make every effort to create a great first impression and follow-through with that. Acknowledging a delay or a full reception room will only make your customers value your credibility more.
Exceptional patient service, an unwavering commitment to provide the best medical health facilities, fostering relationships, a peaceful environment and creating a wonderful experience can turn your customers into your advocates.
Outsourcing patient concierge services can help you focus on providing an outstanding patient experience all the while saving up to 70% on operational cost. Also, in any unforeseen events such as calamities and health crises, partnering with an outsourcing company ensures a continued flow of business. You can consider it as your business continuity plan. When you pay attention to all the factors that contribute to your growth, you generate not only more revenue but happy customers who can promote your business.
At Infinit-O, we understand how important relationships are in any business. A bad complaint from one patient can affect your reputation if not addressed quickly and effectively.
By offering to build you a great customer service team, we assure you that your patients will not only have the best experience at your facility but your healthcare staff will be able to focus solely on patient-care.
At Infinit-O, we build great teams. Our aim is to create long lasting partnerships and endless opportunities for your business to grow. We render a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, HIPAA– and GDPR-compliant, so your company and data are safe with us.
Let’s work together to Build a Great Patient Experience Team.
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Industries today are embracing the critical value of data analytics in their organization. They invest in building a stable information management system to store their data and create a group who will extract meaningful insights from the stored data.
This holds true even in the field of healthcare. That is why institutions are drastically waving goodbye to manual processes and now focus on automation. One avenue to focus on is data analytics. They are learning to capitalize on insights and analytics from whatever data they have, to serve patients in a faster and accurate manner.
Why then is Data Analytics Important in Healthcare?
Every data that enters into a system is a piece of a puzzle regardless of how simple it is. Data from patients, insights and diagnosis from the medical professionals, and hospital records combined can create a network of trends that can be beneficial.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Wuhan, healthcare professionals didn’t have any idea what the virus was all about, the reason why it was initially called Novel. The good thing is that over time, the World Health Organization and other healthcare experts around the country utilized their various data collection tools and processes which enabled information and knowledge to be shared across the globe. Though this has now become a pandemic, every country can do their trending and analysis of the data, classifying its severity and identifying the control measures that need to be done in each category. Understanding the relationship between patient demographics (age, sex, gender) and their existing health conditions through research and data can help healthcare professionals make object decisions.
With data analytics, a clearer picture of a trend is seen right away. And once the pattern has been established, a sound analysis follows. With the use of data analytics tools, historical and even real-time trends can be displayed to help a healthcare institution act on an issue in a quicker manner.
Creating Solutions to Emerging Facility Problems
Data analytics in the healthcare field not only focuses on patient care, but they also are valuable in managing healthcare operations. The reports gathered from various departments play a vital role in enhancing the overall service delivery of the facility.
The Outpatient Department (OPD) is one of the busiest and can get even busier once ‘normal’ healthcare operations get back to how it was prior to the lockdowns implemented in most countries as one of the COVID-19 preventive measures. The predicament of most of the patients in the OPD is dealing with the long waiting times. It starts from patient registration, initial screening, checking HMO coverage, being lined up in the doctor’s waitlist until they get to the face-to-face interaction with their doctor.
With data analytics coupled with nursing triage strategies, hospitals can come up with solutions on how to shorten the waiting time of the patients in the OPD. Perhaps, a process needs to be automated, or a procedure needs to be omitted or tweaked, or even empower patients to do transactions on their own.
Because of data analytics, creating solutions becomes more accessible and faster. Healthcare institutions need not spend much to implement improvement. They need not wait for months to prove that their solution is valid. With data backing up their plans and implementations, it is also easier to convince people to adhere to any changes done within the organization.
Research and Development
Healthcare is not all about treatment. More than that, prediction and prevention of the onset of any disease is important & crucial to accurately diagnose and manage treatment. This is where research and development enter the picture. However, it is not very easy to do experiments and clinical trials without data. With data analytics, researchers can proceed with the conclusion in minimal time.
One of the most controversial research these days is the use of Cannabis in treating diseases. A lot of clinical experiments have been done to prove the claim. Though it is not yet accepted by many, there are healthcare institutions backing up the trials because the results presented are supported with data analytics.
Data analytics can also help eliminate trials conducted on humans and animals. Life need not be sacrificed to prove the effectiveness of an experiment. Data itself becomes the proof. That is why healthcare institutions have designated the R & D department and bank on data analytics to help them prove their experiments. Because of this, continuous efforts to look for a cure to ailments we never thought can be cured is not hampered anymore.
Robust Data Management and Analytics System
The first step is to build a robust data management system. Having massive data that enters into the system, there is a need to make everything in order. Any attempt to have a sophisticated data analytics set-up would fail if the data management system were set aside.
Healthcare institutions may invest in a sophisticated database so they can collect clean, complete, and accurate data.
Of course, the very purpose why data is collected is to be analyzed. Data must be transformed into meaty information and actionable plans that can be used for accurate diagnosis and identifying best treatment needed. It will be helpful if healthcare institutions have designated data analytics teams. They can also invest in artificial intelligence to make it more sophisticated.
However, a considerable chunk of the budget must be allocated to the operational and labor cost of quality analysts if they want to invest in effective data analytics. According to the market trend, a data analyst earns $60,000 a year in the US. Top data analytics tools cost thousands too.
Let Infinit-O Help You
To save on operational costs of up to 70%, a great option is to build a highly skilled Data Science Team, Research Analysts and even a Cyber Security Group with a trusted global solutions partner. Infinit-O is one that has a proven track record in the field of data analytics. We can help you meet your goals, whether they be growth, better productivity or simply bottom-line cost savings. With access to excellent talent who use cutting-edge technology, we provide some of the best strategic solutions for your business. We are ISO-certified and GDPR-compliant, so your company and client data are safe with us.
Let’s Build a Great Team for you – starting with Research and Data.
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Starting a Business
Accounting might not be the most thrilling aspect of a business. You would perhaps prefer to babble about the products you manufacture and how you will market them rather than tackle your accounting responsibilities. Managing cash flow is one of the core principles of any business. The accounting department takes the center stage when finance is concerned. For one, it helps in evaluating the business status with the financial reports they present. It says a lot on the resource utilization, budgeting, and projections. A company also needs to worry about legal business compliances as well as filing for financial statements. All these functions handled by the accounting department are paramount to the survival of any business.
That is why, it would be best if you acknowledge that accounting is crucial to managing your finances efficiently. It is one of the central forces in your business. It is not just one of the business aspects. It is valuable to make the business unsinkable. So, the next thing you do is to work on the bookkeeping tasks.
Bookkeepers are insightful in managing A/R, collections, A/P, deposits, bank account reconciliation, payroll, basic financial statements, and sales taxes. As they make sure that your financial books are updated and managed properly as they do you will still find yourself engaged in the accounting department. Also, in an unforeseen business challenges such as health crisis (i.e. COVID-19 pandemic) and natural calamities, having a solid bookkeeping team will secure your assets and inventory while overcoming any economic wounds.
Why? Because there is a need for management accounting. Management accounting requires a higher level of responsibility as it prepares management and fiscal reports for business conformities. Management reporting is utilized to make business decisions clearly supported by real-time data and other indispensable indicators of performance.
But time will come that you are no longer capable of being too engaged in every facet of the business. Or when your business expands, you will realize that your time and effort will be more substantial if you concentrate on the core business management than dealing with the accounting responsibilities.
This is where you will find outsourcing to be the best thing to do next. Here are some reasons that outsourcing your accounting would aid you to reduce the hassle and allow you to maximize resources to more critical business aspects.
Hiring a regular employee is a high investment in your operational cost. While these employees are vital in making the business thrive, your investment to make the business ball rolling must substantiate their efforts. Plus, the fact the regular employees are the cream of the crop, this means you also give them the cream of the crop benefits like bonuses, medical insurance, and even their retirement package which your company should contribute to. All these equate to an expensive investment.
Whereas, if you outsource, you will deal with your partner company. Your partner will take charge of all employee relations, compensations, and benefits. Another strength that you can bank on with a quality outsourcing partner is that they already have established domain expertise, so you can trust that they know what they’re doing.
Reduce Potential Business Vulnerability
In essence, it is critical to delegate tasks to your employees; even so, the back-and-forth needed to manage bookkeeping and accounting could result in some security concerns. A professional accounting company would seriously take your fiscal safety, and there is no need to turn over the invaluable tasks to an unqualified apprentice.
Outsourcing accounting firms could cover payroll, bookkeeping, and invoicing requirements, along with comprehensive accounting services. They generally guarantee commitment to flexibility, visibility, and transparency to skip out on extended contracts in the event the services do not work well for you. They can also be your saving grace as a business continuity team during an emergency or disaster by overcoming financial threats.
Another two key factors that will fuel you in avoiding the risks are the ISO certification and SOX compliance. Being certified will help you align your business goals to the demands of your business partners and consumers. An ISO certified company has high regard to excellent customer experience by reducing errors and leveraging efficiency. A SOX compliant company meanwhile ensures that there is a strong financial reporting landscape by maintaining data integrity and credibility of financial disclosures.
Be at Peace as you Avoid Accuracy Issues
Although you may be adept at tracking the finances of the firm, it is reasonable to feel distressed when it is not your field of expertise. So, do not allow constant hesitation or jitters for a huge accounting mistake to dwell inside your head. Get rid of that fear by merely paying a professional and well-experienced firm that could successfully handle your fiscal record keeping. With the right team, you are allowing your business to breathe seamlessly by not worrying about your financial concerns.
Incorporate Global Best Practices
When you have to point out how to arrange and track the business finances more efficiently, you may opt for counting on established processes and practices. And an outsourced accounting company would already have those processes figured out. So, you could imagine how much more composed your workers would be realizing that they would be compensated in time, all because you employed an outsourced firm to cater to everything, including the payroll.
And when it comes to the financial aspect of the business, the next thing you’ll consider is perfection. It is not impossible to attain this if you have the right policies and processes that will be the organization’s lamp as you journey to success. However, establishing that is taxing that it may drain your analytical juices. So instead, let the right outsource company handle that for you.
So now, why would you consider outsourcing your Accounting Department?
Not to mention, one of the most excellent perks of outsourced support is personalizing a superiorly functioning staff with additional resources and know-how. Outsourced specialists who have a deeper grasp of industry-specific outstanding practices could generally improve processes and productivity and, most importantly, integrate the current staff.
Substantially, their fiscal reporting capabilities are commonly updated with industry standards and utilize the most advanced technology. Many a time, this concentration could assist in underscoring the needs of the business and its opportunities for growth.
The bottom line is that through outsourcing your business’ accounting requirements, you are able to concentrate on what you do best – operating a business that you genuinely love, and at the same time, saving yourself a considerable amount of money, time, frustration and potential distress.
Now is the Best Time
The best time to look for a partner company is before it becomes urgent. If you only sought financial assistance during the occurrence of a crisis, say a pandemic, the tendency of work is recovery from a financial loss rather than preventing it. Having a team of finance professionals will help your company identify these unforeseen events and create financial mitigation measures that suit best for your business.
Of course, you wouldn’t want to end with a company that is just good at babbling their accomplishments. Instead, you want a track record that stands out. While many outsourcing companies are excellent in the field of Finance and Accounting (as they claim), very few are bona fide.
Infinit-O is a trusted F&A outsourcing partner and we can help you save upto 70% on operational cost. We have collaboratively built high performance teams performing to excellent results over the past 15 years. Our teams comprise competent F&A professionals such as certified public accountants in the field of internal auditing, bookkeeping, and other critical accounting functions. We endeavor to enable our clients to meet their goals in terms of business growth, better productivity, and most importantly, cost efficiency.
At Infinit-O, we build great teams. Our goal is to create long lasting partnerships with our clients; rendering a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, GDPR and Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, so your company and data are safe with us because information security is also our priority. All these applied, your financial growth and continued profitability are sealed.
Let’s Build a Great Team for you – starting with Finance & Accounting.
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Events such as calamities and health crises propose dire consequences which require responses and resources beyond the capability of a single unit. These incidents do not just threaten the lives of people but inordinate economic losses affecting both small and large businesses.
Whichever industry your business belongs to, you will come across a testimony on how research and data has helped them overcome challenges such as crises. It might be curing a disease, improving a company’s revenue after a global lockdown or understanding the economic market. Simply put, data is another word for information and these so-called information can begin on answering lingering questions which eventually produces strategies and techniques. Therefore, having a great research and data team for your business especially in times of crisis has its value.
Devising Crisis Mitigation Measures
Health crises and natural calamities are unforeseen and unpredicted events which most often than not catches us off guard. For instance, the recently declared pandemic COVID-19 took everyone by surprise. It’s first occurrence was reported late December 2019 in Wuhan City, China. 3 months later, the virus has spread in 145 countries with 180,000 confirmed cases and over 7,000 deaths. But through the help of research analysts, scientists and data collectors, the initially-thought community illness was rightfully declared pandemic and appropriate mitigation responses were made.
Research and data are vital tools in linking an underlying problem with tangible evidence to understand and analyze important information and aid decision makers on effective planning and intervention. In every crisis, may it be health or disaster, businesses can suffer immensely. Obtaining data (qualitative and quantitative) helps in analyzing information objectively thus creating equally objective solutions to a problem. Making a decision based on poor quality data is risky and may lead to disastrous results for your company and the safety of your people. But having a state-of-the-art data collection and analysis techniques builds an important knowledge base and proactive preparation for your business. Real time decision making and information dissemination during any crisis can assist executives and business leaders alike in responding efficiently and effectively by not risking the business while protecting team members in trying times.
Stops Full Blown Crisis
Research and data allow you to monitor the situation in your organization in times of crisis. By utilizing data for quality monitoring, organizations are able to respond to a molehill crisis before it becomes a mountain of problems. Effective monitoring allows you to be more proactive rather than being reactive and will aid you in maintaining best practices overtime. Businesses can effectively determine a problem and visualize the relationship of each department and how they can contribute to a solution within your organization while you can monitor errors in place. It also assists looking at different crises side-by-side and in return allows you in formulating accurate theories and put into place more effective solutions.
The solutions you propose for your company will be backed up with a strong argument in cases system change is needed. Whether you’re advocating on transitioning your employees to remote work or making changes in your company’s regulation for the security of your people and your clients, these decisions will be supported by data and allows you to demonstrate why changes are needed. It also stops the guessing game by helping you explain the good and bad to your stakeholders. Whether or not the strategies and decisions you made results in an outcome you perceive to happen, you are confident enough that you develop your approach based on good solid data.
Allows Strategic Approaches
Data equals knowledge. Good data is undisputed evidence which results in informed decision. While anecdotal decisions based from assumptions or abstract observation may lead to water down crisis management due to taking action from an incorrect conclusion.
Research and data allow organizations to analyze the effectiveness of your approach in crisis and the strategies you formulate. When strategies are put into place to overcome a challenge, collecting data will allow you to determine your planned solution is performing, and whether or not your approach needs to be changed over time. It also increases the efficiency of your planning strategies supporting your analysis and allows you to direct scarce resources where they are most needed. There will always be increased business-impacting incidents during crisis that data can dissect further whether the increase is widespread or isolated in a particular department in your organization. If the issue is isolated, training, staffing and other resources can be deployed precisely where they are needed. On the other hand, it also aids organizations to determine which areas should take priority over others.
These strategic approaches allow you to assess how well your organization is doing in times of crisis. Data analysis identifies effective mitigation measures and assessing how the business is running amidst crisis by identifying high-performing programs, service areas, and people. Once identified you can develop strategies to assist programs, service areas and people that are low-performing.
Prepare now and win later
To maximize the value of research and data, having a great team of analysts in your organization prior to being in a crisis is the best key in winning this type of business hurdle. To save on cost and have access to other excellent resources, one proven action to take is to outsource.
At Infinit-O we build great teams of trusted research and data specialists that can help you build and operate a dedicated team of research professionals designed for your unique needs. We can help you meet your goals before and even during a crisis whilst achieving better productivity or simply bottom-line cost savings. With access to a great team of research and data experts who use cutting-edge technology, we provide some of the best strategic solutions for your business. We are ISO-certified and GDPR-compliant, so your company and client data are safe with us.
By working with Infinit-O, you can have your team of data analysts up and running in 30-45 days. You need not spend time recruiting and hiring an expensive workforce. Let us do that work for you and save you a tremendous amount along the way.
Let’s Build a Great Team for you – starting with Research and Data.
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In this article, we will learn the following;
- The roles of professional accountants
- Some challenges that accountants face
- The importance of keeping financial records
Accounting has played an indispensable role in the business world through the centuries. It has helped to keep things orderly and bring about regulations with money affairs. Accounting as a concept started about a thousand years ago, as a solution to issues arising from the trade of goods and services. The earliest evidence of accounting dates back to the Mesopotamian civilizations by keeping records of merchandise traded and received. Ancient Egyptians and Babylonians also track their livestock and crops.
Over the years, development in Information Technology has modified this concept. When IBM released their first computer in 1952, the first users were accountants. Although it is now very convenient for anyone to keep the financial records of their business, we cannot overstate the importance of professional accountants because accounting is more than listing debits and credits. It is a language of business and the language of all financial things. Their significant roles include:
Record Keeping and Investment Analysis
Accountants keep financial records in a bid to understand how the company is doing. This provides insight and helps the business owners to stay proactive.
Any company that intends to make and maximize profit must have a top-notch record-keeping system. Well-kept financial records help organizations and investors recognize profitable ideas and methods. The data obtained from records is crucial to the decision-making process of organizations because it helps them make sound and logical resolutions that may be beneficial for their business. Companies have been forced to shut down or scale down as a result of bad investment decisions. Other times, bad accounting sequels debt instead of profit. When companies keep documents properly, then it is easy to understand how each part of the business is doing and make decisions accordingly, all the while keeping your business financial position in check.
The story of Forever 21 is a great example of how companies need to measure customer behavior from accounting data. The clothing brand failed to recognize the shift from retail to online shopping. Instead of transitioning to digital marketing, the company focused on opening more stores. This eventually cost them a fortune as competitors leveraged delivery services and online stores. This way, their competitors made more money while spending significantly less. If financial advisers such as accountants were able to keep tabs of their capital investment on opening more stores versus the profit they were generating, their business hurdle may be reversed.
Curbs Fraudulent Practices
When financial records are kept properly, it makes it easy to refer to them. This is how accounting helps in reducing (and in some cases eliminating) fraudulent practices in organizations. This is achieved through the accurate tracking of all financial procedures within the company. Although fiscal laws and regulation varies from state to state, proper accounting helps you with statutory compliance in your business. Hiring the right team ensures proper bookkeeping of sales tax, VAT, income tax and regulating funds which all helps in combating possible fraud activities.
Integrity and Reputation
Transparency is crucial to business dealings, and it is the reason why the proper documentation of financial records is vital. General and precise facts of accounting preserve the reputation of business. An honest representation of all financial proceedings in an organization depicts a trustworthy company. Investment capital from outside sources are not as beneficial as in house funds. Accurate and transparent financial reviews of the company’s financial operation makes their stakeholders trust them more. In business, the right name is better than silver and gold.
All the aforementioned are parts of the benefits of accounting. However, every profession has its challenges, and accounting is not spared from this axe swing.
Below are some operational challenges faced by the accounting business:
Skills Update and Training
The world has reached an age where every profession is evolving due to development in information/communication technology. This causes modifications to the training process and core skills and tools that you require. These skills and tools make business processes more manageable because they simplify and speed up accounting processes
The challenge with the accounting profession is keeping up with ever-evolving trends. For example, accounting procedures such as auditing have improved to achieve better results.
Technological advancements have made it possible to automate accounting processes and maximize data for insights. Accounting professionals need to focus on keeping up with these tools. Partnering with accountants who are constantly progressing with the current training and tools in accounting such as Quickbooks, Xero, Tallie, Kashoo, QuickFile and others furnishes their intuitive making them do their jobs quicker, more accurately and in ease. This is the only way to keep the company running.
Accounting remains one of the most sought after professions in the world. Although there are a lot of new blooming accounts out there, in a rapidly growing business, the need for experts in this profession is vital, and passable skills cannot be tolerated. Unfortunately, accountants with the needed expertise are scarce, and this has proven to be one operational challenge of the accounting business. Professionals need to ensure that they stay updated with the latest skills and tools. This is a great way to ensure the proficiency of your accounting processes. There is a need to have professionals managing every aspect of the business. The accounting sector is one that requires a highly experienced and proficient workforce. The constant use of technology in the accounting profession is a critical factor for companies to consider. This factor has significantly influenced the competition among accounting firms.
In the last point, we talked about the importance of experienced personnel. However, even with qualified staff, you may still be faced with fraud. One of the challenges facing the accounting profession is the accuracy of accounting and complying with financial laws and regulations and internal procedures of your company. This issue stems from either inadequate accounting systems or poor organizational skills needed for the job. Subsequently, this leads to the inability to detect or prevent fraudulent activities because of inefficient bookkeeping.
In many cases, this happens because professionals with the technical know-how on detecting issues regarding treachery are few. Eventually, this leads to successful manipulation of data. As we mentioned earlier, the primary role of accountants is to ensure transparency.
Economic Laws and Regulations
You can control the challenges mentioned above internally. Although, constant look out for other uncontrollable challenges is as crucial.
The economic laws and regulations cannot be excluded as one the challenges in the accounting profession. The decisions the government make plays a significant role in the accounting business in specific ways. For example, government policies such as tax rates and interest rates may affect the economy and subsequently, the accounting profession. These factors influence the accounting industry and transform the way it compares to global accounting standards. New government policies come out as often as how the economy moves. Albeit how updated rules help stabilize what’s happening in the market, this requires accountants to adjust and shift their bookkeeping according to the new law. The need to update their clients on what has changed may cause lag time on keeping records resulting in a halt on incoming profits.
Changes in Practice Globally
Apart from the activities in the market that affects economic laws and regulations, global trends in accounting also affect the way accounting is done. With the popularity of the internet, accounting firms can compete on a worldwide scale. This particular challenge affects firms that only utilize local accounting processes. The constant change in accounting standards globally can, at times, stunt the growth of the local accounting process. For example, advancements in record keeping and data optimization are improving globally at a fast pace. This often leads to a backdrop in the economic progress of companies that operate with local standards (when compared to their competitors that use international standards). This where partnering with a company that operates their quality in a global standpoint comes in handy.
“The introduction of data analytics and innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, bots, and drones, provides the opportunity for the greatest change in the accounting profession since the passage of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,”- George Scott, chair of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.”
Several challenges permeate the accounting business. Although these factors can be controlled, conscious and consistent effort to keep up with these changes are required. Every company needs a dedicated accounting team that will provide monthly, quarterly, and annual reports. It is best if you also streamlined financial accounting functions while focusing on other crucial aspects of business operation.
Here at Infinit-O, we understand the value of keeping your financial records secured. We build great teams best fit for your business that includes finance professionals performing internal auditing and bookkeeping services among others. Through this, we can ensure your company’s financial growth and continued profitability.
At Infinit-O, our goal is to create long lasting partnerships with our clients; rendering a strong combination of business consultancy, process optimization, and outsourced services; all utilizing the latest technology to provide excellent value for our clients. We are ISO-certified, GDPR and Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, so your company and data are safe with us.
Let’s Build a Great Team for you – starting with F&A.
Start small. Exceed expectations. Think infinitely. Think Infinit-O.
We hope you enjoyed reading this!