The issue of healthcare is a hot topic to talk about these days. The unending bipartisan dispute on who should shoulder the burden of the cost of healthcare is highly debated. No matter what side of the political spectrum you are aligned with.
There is no doubt that the cost of healthcare in the United States is too high. At the end of the day, it is the normal people who barely get by with the cost of day-to-day expenses that are feeling the noose slowly tightening.
The breakdown of the cost can be attributed to a number of factors from high insurance premiums to the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. That being said, virtual medical assistants may be a small solution to a behemoth of a problem. With cost reduction measures such as lower wages, less office space to lease, and smaller investments in work equipment and facilities.
The Cost of Healthcare
The rising cost of healthcare can be attributed to a number of reasons:
First, the price of medical services has gone up due to rising wages. Although increasing wages for doctors, nurses, insurance liaisons, and other medical workers are understandable. It is still one of the contributing factors to high healthcare costs.
Second, the population of the United States has increased from 287.6 million in 2002 to 334.8 million in 2022. That being said, 16.3% of the population is over 65 years old and accounted for 16.8% of the hospitalized population which is the highest among the age group. While the average age of retirement in the US is 62 years old, thereby relying on state pension funds to pay for medical bills. Thereby, increasing the cost for insurance providers and effectively increasing the price of insurance premiums for all.
Lastly, the price of pharmaceutical drugs made up more than 50% of the increase. In fact, the average prescription drug prices in the US are 250% higher than in any other country in the western world. Moreover, it is very unlikely that the cost of prescription drugs will go down in the future.
However, other cost reduction measures could be examined and implemented to curb healthcare costs such as hiring of Virtual Medical Assistants.
What is a Virtual Medical Assistant?
A Virtual Medical Assistant is a remote employee that can either be working as a freelancer or for outsourcing companies. Working remotely, they can be sourced locally or offshore. They are steadily gaining popularity which can be traced back to the needs of insurance companies, medical services companies, and even hospitals for medical transcriptions.
Kinds of Virtual Medical Assistant
Virtual Medical Assistants is a general term for professionals trained to assist medical practitioners in their daily recurring administrative tasks. However, their roles and responsibilities may vary depending on one BPO provider to another.
Kinds of Outsourced Medical Roles:
- EMR Management
- Pharmacy and Insurance Liaison
- Medical Billing Specialist
- Medical Transcriptionist
- Virtual Nurse
These roles are only a few of the numerous roles that outsourcing companies are offering. In addition, they are capable of doing a variety of menial tasks on top of their specializations such as;
- Taking phone calls
- Email management
- Appointment scheduling
- Invoicing and billing of receivables and payables
- Organization of patient database
- Insurance verification and pre-certification
How can a Virtual Medical Assistant reduce costs?
As previously discussed, the rising cost of healthcare is an ongoing problem in the United States. However, hiring a Virtual Medical Assistant can lower the cost of medical services, insurance companies, and hospital services bills by outsourcing manpower as a cost-effective solution.
Offshore VMA’s can be hired from a fraction of an amount than their counterparts in the US therefore, the industries mentioned above would have the ability to lower their expenses on wages, benefits and etc.
Mainly, the savings gained from the cost reduction measures implemented can be the basis for reducing the billables that are being charged to patients.
The Wrap Up
Whether or not, political divisiveness on this issue would solve the problem instead of confronting idealogical difference on both sides of the aisle. Ultimately, healthcare costs will continue to rise in the foreseeable future. Hopefully, social responsibility may persuade companies specifically on this topic at hand, Medical Companies and Services to help ease the predicament of our current generation. Utilizing Virtual Medical Assistants is a good start to lower the cost of healthcare.