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.

TV Shows and Board Games | Board Games

It can be safely said that television plays a very large role in culture today. It is extremely rare to find someone who doesn’t pay attention to the programming on the networks today. This attention starts to bleed out into other forms of entertainment available to the public and this includes the world of board games. Popular television shows are beginning to find some life in the gaming industry and this is a fact that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Fans are becoming more and more outspoken about exactly what they like and when options are available to them to continue to enjoy their interests, especially in the world of board games, they will take them.A number of popular television shows have been given a platform with board games in the form of trivia. Grey’s Anatomy, Sex and the City, I Love Lucy, and Desperate Housewives are just a few of the shows which have been given this trivia game treatment. With these board games, players often compete with each other in questions about the show’s storyline, the actors in the show, and production behind it. Fans who know the most, usually with some lucky throws of the dice, find themselves as the winner of the game. These games feature a simple board that players race around, landing on different spaces that usually denote the type of question that needs to be answered to progress. Trivia games based on popular television shows are usually popular with the fans because not only does it allow them to prove their status as super fans, but to usually learn something new about the show that they did not realize before.Trivia games aren’t the only representation that television shows have in the board game world, however. Different shows are adaptable to different types of games, such as reality television. Some of these reality game shows have been adapted into board games, with Survivor, Big Brother, and The Amazing Race being some of the most popular ones. With Survivor, players race around the board for Immunity by solving different puzzles or trivia questions about survival skills. The first player to reach the end of the board wins the round and Immunity for that turn. Players will then vote one member of the game out of the running and onto the jury. Players who have previously been voted out return at the end of the game to determine the winner between the final two players, much like the show. The Amazing Race board game utilizes a DVD which allows players to experience some of the different cultures of the world while racing through the board, giving it an edge that other board games usually do not provide.Lost gives its fans a strategy board game that changes each time it is played. By laying different tiles across the playing field, the board is built randomly each game and “the island” is never quite the same twice. It allows players to have a variety of different characters from the show and the novelty of this can last quite a while. Television can be a very creative outlet for storytelling and adventure and when these quality cross over into the board games representing the shows, quality entertainment can be enjoyed by all.

Online Backup Small Business Services – A Must | business services

The benefits of backing up business data online are many. Being able to access the data from anywhere is one important benefit of using an online back up service. Another important benefit of backing up data online is preventing loss through catastrophic events such as fire, earthquake, or suffering the more common catastrophic event, the brownout.Being able to offer a security package that allows businesses to protect key computers or the entire computer network is also an important benefit of a backup service provider. When data that has not been saved on via a backup service and is lost, it is gone forever.The quality of saved data is important as well. Choosing a backup service that helps to configure the backup process to fit the needs of the business is critical. Data that has been saved to a backup location should be accessible.The old method of storing data on tape is not only risky it is cumbersome to access. A backup service should provide a platform that enables the business to access data from any location or mobile device. The data should be accessible in a format that is immediately usable.There are risks involved if the method of backing up data is not closely mirrored to the business’s function. Choosing a service to backup data should begin with a question about how the security of the data is addressed. How the data is saved is another important aspect of backup services.Configuring saved data should involve more than just sending files to an online warehouse. There should be a structure provided by the backup service that allows the data to be saved in an approachable manner by modern technology. This can be addressed in questions about how the back up service monitors the data that is being safeguarded.A backup service company that provides a complete service package that begins with consulting with businesses to determine how data should be saved, assisting the business during the setup process, and then monitoring the data that is saved is invaluable. The three aspects of safeguarding data, consultation, setup and monitoring, allow the business the assurance that the data is not only safe but accessible in an instantly usable format.The importance of monitoring your data backups is one of the important steps that a good backup service performs to keep your data safe. Monitoring should include a constant vigil against outside threats such as hackers or viral corruption of data. Monitoring should also include a protection against data erosion, mechanical malfunction and internet security. A monitoring system should provide saved backup as changes to original data are made and saved on the business’s computer.When the recovery tool is needed it is critically important that the tool function in a seamless and rapid fashion. Online backup small business data service is a complete package that encompasses safety and security of important data by combining services that allow the business the convenience of data storage, recovery, and access.