Consolidation among hospitals created a ripple effect this year that also swept through the outsourcing firms that serve them.
The mergers and acquisition frenzy of 2012 meant more systems were looking for ways to streamline back-office functions across all their hospitals—and outsourcing firms saw new opportunities to win those large contracts.
“You're really starting to see these mega-deals,” says Jeffrey Christoff, a principal at Deloitte Consulting, who leads their shared-services practice. “These hospitals are saying there's a ton of value in creating a single process.”
Christoff notes that a Deloitte survey of the top 20 hospitals based on revenue found wide interest in shared services. “Every single one has created some shared-services center,” he says.
And that means growth in what he describes as “emerging outsourcing areas,” such as financial services, human resources, payroll and supply chain and revenue-cycle management.
Yet the picture wasn't all rosy, as uncertainty around healthcare reform led many providers to take a wait-and-see approach toward outsourcing, particularly for information technology.