With a score of 92.7, PricewaterhouseCoopers leads the pack in a new KLAS report on business process outsourcing — Extended Business Office Services: Money Talks.
Though noted as being slightly more costly than other firms, PwC’s performance and delivered value were determined to far outweigh the cost, KLAS found. “Clients universally praised the company’s financial performance, and viewed PwC as a strategic partner willing to do whatever it takes to generate results and meet expectations,” KLAS stated.
Firstsource (MedAssist) came in next at 86.3, followed closely by Deloitte Consulting with 84.7. Findings about ACS, Anthelio, Cymetrix, Dell, HRG, MedAssets, and NCO are also included in the report.
“The business office services market is complex, and EBOS contracts are often multi-year and multi-million dollar arrangements.” explained Lorin Bird, KLAS research director and author of the report. “A healthcare organization must sift through dozens of these firms, some of which may not have experience in serving facilities of a certain size or offering the services providers need. Understanding what firms can do and how they do it is the key to making the right selection(s).”
Anthelio (PHNS), Firstsource, and Dell demonstrated the greatest breadth and depth of services, while the other firms offered more specialized services, according to KLAS.
Cymetrix, PwC, and Deloitte offered mostly private insurance collection and some government follow-up. MedAssets’ work was mainly insurance and self-pay, the research organization found.
The services discussed in the report range from temporary project-based work, such as netting down A/R or handling batches of legacy receivables, to continual assistance with things like financial clearance or ongoing A/R follow-up, especially with regard to a specific insurer, age, or dollar amount. The firms in this report can be categorized into four groups, according to KLAS, based on the types of services they provide to most of their customers: consulting firms (Deloitte and PwC), BPO firms (Cymetrix and Firstsource), end-to-end outsourcers (Anthelio and Dell), and technology vendors (MedAssets).
Although providers mentioned prior relationships with a firm, or the firm’s state/local experience as two of the biggest reason to select a particular BPO firm, “in the final analysis it comes down to who can keep accounts receivables low and cash collection high; money still talks the loudest,” the organization stated.
The 90 healthcare providers surveyed — 75 percent of whom were either director- or executive-level respondents representing healthcare facilities of all sizes — identified a total of 21 firms they currently employed, of which 10 received enough evaluations to qualify for inclusion in the report.