Though offshore Healthcare Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) services are expanding slowly to
different parts of the world, it is no secret that the biggest players are
still based in India. No doubt, there is a raging debate in India about BPO
culture making inroads into the traditional Indian social milieu, equipping
young people with high disposable incomes and taking them on the fast lane.
Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that offshoring has brought economic
independence to young people who have just stepped out of college.
visited the Chennai office of Omega Healthcare
Management Services Ltd., the premier offshore providers of medical coding, billing, accounts receivable
management, claims processing and healthcare revenue
management and heard Mr. Gopi
Natarajan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Omega Healthcare
Management Services Ltd.
, speak on the challenges and rewards of excelling
in business outsourcing in India.
Q. Why did you opt for Healthcare
services when you ventured into business?
a dynamic field offering a wide range of challenges and opportunities.Out of the 25 years of my corporate
career in the United States, I spent 18 years working in the US healthcare
industry dealing with payers, providers and vendors. I was constantly
interacting with business users in the healthcare sector and the experience helped
me learn the nuances of this industry. Prior to Omega, I was heading a $40M
medical billing company in the US with 900 employees (250 of whom were in
India). My senior management stints with Aetna, EDS and Healtheon/WebMD added
to my experience in IT, Business development and BPO/KPO outsourcing.
Healthcare is the single largest industry representing 13-15% of GDP in the
US—which roughly translates to $1.8 trillion. Healthcare industry in the US is
very complex and highly evolved. I enjoy the challenge of playing a vital part
in facilitating an efficient reimbursement process to the providers of healthcare,
i.e. the hospitals and physicians.
Omega Healthcare Management Services was started in 2004 and
operates from a 50,000 sq ft office in Bangalore equipped with state-of-the-art
facilities and a similar office in Chennai.
Q. What kind of
healthcare services does Omega Healthcare Management Services offer?
thing that comes to the public mind at the mention of BPO is Call Centers and
Our company does not deal with medical
transcriptions, nor is it a call center.
We are in the business of managing the entire reimbursement to the
hospitals and physicians by the insurance companies, the process being commonly
referred to as "revenue cycle management".
The quality of healthcare in the US is arguably one of the
best in the world and this kind of quality doesn't come easy. The entire
healthcare delivery is a complex procedure involving patients, doctors,
hospitals and insurance companies. It is our job to see that doctors and
hospitals get paid by insurance companies for services rendered.
Technically, Omega Healthcare provides the
following services to our clients:
Coding - Professional and Facility - reviewing of patient charts to
determine appropriate medical codes that drive reimbursement for services
- Data Entry
into Software and Practice Management Systems - Charges, Demographics and Cash/Payment Posting
Receivable Management - Analysis and Collections (voice based work)
We have to our
advantage years of experience in working with various hospital information
systems and medical billing software, experience in several physician
specialties like Emergency Medicine, Cardiology, Radiology, Pathology,
Anesthesia, Internal Medicine etc., and an excellent team that delivers prompt
and accurate services to our clients.
Q. Could you elaborate on the importance of your services in Healthcare
revenue cycle management?
Let me briefly
explain the method of healthcare delivery in the United States. About 250
million people in the US are covered by one of the three tiers of
insurance—Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance companies. Medicare
is the medical insurance
offered by the Federal government for medical services rendered to those above
65 years of age. Medicaid
sponsored by the State governments, mostly for low income families below a
certain level and then there are the private
, which offer a range of flexibility and people
typically pay premiums through their employers to be a member of one of these
we offer are vital in the healthcare information industry. For example, Medical Coders
assign specific codes to
medical procedures and services rendered to patients, which facilitate prompt
payment for doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers.
are used to identify specific diagnosis, and outpatient and inpatient
procedures and services (such as diagnosis and treatment) for billing insurance
companies. Medical coders accurately read patient charts, assign proper codes, and
key the codes into the proper form into a computer application. These will drive
how much Medicaid, Medicare and other insurance companies have to pay to
healthcare providers by way of medical reimbursement for services rendered.
strictly follow insurance requirements and federal regulations and any error in
coding can result in false claims and delayed payment. Our coding team comprises of highly qualified
people in life sciences with a thorough knowledge of medical terminology,
anatomy and physiology.
Q. You have mentioned that your workforce is Omega's biggest strength. What
makes the team unique?
Like I said, our selection
process is very stringent and the basic requirement for our medical coders is a
University degree in any Life Sciences area (Microbiology, Bio-chemistry,
Zoology, Physical Therapy, Homeopathic/Ayurvedic medicine, Nursing, etc). Apart from our regular recruiting process,
every day more than a hundred walk-in applicants visit our offices for interviews.
Our HR team scrutinizes their credentials and résumés for suitability. The candidates are then tested in various
areas such as typing skills for data entry, knowledge of anatomy and medical
terminology for medical coders, and aptitude and communication skills for
accounts receivables follow up staff. Those who pass these tests are then
interviewed by the HR and the respective functional managers.
Selected candidates attend our
training sessions conducted by the best trainers in the industry in multiple
training rooms where several batches of candidates can be trained
simultaneously. Training period ranges from 2 weeks for data oriented projects
to 8 weeks for medical coders. Beyond
all this initial training, Omega offers a continuous learning environment
because of the constantly changing nature of the business we are in and this
keeps the boredom and monotony out.
We offer excellent employee
benefits like in house physician service, fully catered meals and snacks
provided free of cost to employees, health insurance coverage and a highly
subsidized door to door transportation for night shift employees.
We follow our corporate values of
customer service, respect for the individual, transparency, equal opportunity
for all and collaboration at all levels of our organization.
Q. What gives you great satisfaction in your line of work?
It gives me immense satisfaction that Omega Healthcare
Management Services is able to train and provide employment for over 2,600
young people in Bangalore and Chennai, India. It is generally difficult for
science graduates to find a suitable employment in India that keeps them in
touch with their subject. We offer well paying jobs as soon as youngsters step
out of college and they work in an atmosphere that still connects them to their
subject—life sciences. Our employees are unparalleled in the industry in terms
of skill and accuracy and our clients can vouch for the fact that we are the
leading player in providing high quality business and knowledge process
outsourcing services to the US healthcare industry.
Mr. Gopi Natarajan
demystified medical coding, billing and similar terms in healthcare revenue
management and showed how the world is now a global village with countries
supporting each other in myriad ways. Medindia wishes Omega Healthcare
Management Services all success in their business ventures in the healthcare