Can Healthcare Outsourcing Rescue Hospitals from Labor Challenges that Underpin their Financial Struggles? Part II: The Rescue

June 28, 2023

Article Summary

With financial guarantees and a proven approach towards employee care, TEMS outsourcing provides immediate relief in labor costs through a managed services partnership that drives efficiencies over time without the typical compromises inherent in traditional outsourcing options.

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The healthcare financial crisis has reached a tipping point that is forcing many hospitals into unforeseen circumstances including mass layoffs, workforce reductions, mergers and acquisitions, or total closure of facilities. As outlined in Can Healthcare Outsourcing Rescue Hospitals from Labor Challenges that Underpin their Financial Struggles? Part I: The Struggle, healthcare providers have very few options in curbing their financial downfall. Traditional labor outsourcing methods are unpredictable in performance and can cause complete disruption to the patient communities they serve. 

Health Catalyst has introduced an innovative approach to healthcare outsourcing that supports health systems’ operational restructuring plans without reducing the workforce and eliminating jobs for hospital employees, an invaluable rescue for healthcare organizations to thrive. 

Our Mission 

To fulfill our mission to be the catalyst for massive, measurable, data-informed healthcare improvement, we focus on four key elements: 

  • Data Platform: Integrate data in a flexible, open, and scalable platform to power healthcare’s digital transformation; 
  • Analytics Applications: Deliver insights on how to measurably improve through the use of analytics applications; 
  • Services Expertise: Enable data-informed improvement by providing analytical, clinical, financial, and operational experts; and 
  • Engagement: Attract, develop, and retain world-class team members by being a Best Place to Work. 

We accomplish our mission with each of our clients by following a process we call the Health Catalyst Flywheel. This process includes delivering on the three components of our solution: data platform, analytics applications, and services expertise, which converge to drive measurable improvements. At the center of the Flywheel is the engagement of our team members. Team member engagement is foundational to everything we do and is the number one priority of our CEO and broader leadership team. 

When team members feel connected to our mission and are listened to, cared for, and respected on a deeper level, they produce outstanding work, which enables our clients to make measurable improvements. As clients realize improvements, their trust in Health Catalyst builds, their engagement in our shared work increases, and they choose to renew and expand their relationship with us while also referring Health Catalyst to key decision-makers at other potential client partners. Client renewal, expansion, and referrals produce growing, scalable, and predictable financial performance. 

Healthcare Outsourcing without Risk is Tech-Enabled Managed Services (TEMS) 

Tech-Enabled Managed Services (TEMS), an outsourcing services engagement model introduced by Health Catalyst, is a cost-effective solution for healthcare provider organizations to reduce costs and deploy improvements in financial, operational, and quality outcomes. 

In this innovative partnership, the healthcare provider organization transfers ownership and accountability for a functional area, including people, technology, and processes, to Health Catalyst. In return, Health Catalyst delivers the desired outcomes-as-a-service in an efficient and cost-effective approach to outsourcing. TEMS allows each partner to focus on their core competencies, enabling clients to gain near- and long-term financial relief in a way that uniquely cares for their employees, aligns with their core mission, and delivers performance improvements over time.

The TEMS framework can be applied to non-direct patient care roles and functions enabled by technology. Here are some examples of how the managed IT services framework has been applied: 

  1. Chart abstraction. TEMS increases the value of registry participation by informing quality improvement opportunities with access to reliable and timely abstracted data to support quality improvement while meeting registry requirements. Transitioning chart abstraction team members provides a focus on resource optimization, engagement, and career development opportunities.
    Tech-enabled efficiencies can be created through data queries that reduce abstraction labor costs, registry costs, clinical program costs, and average length of stay (LOS). 
  2. Reporting and analytics. By relying on a partner for data reporting and analytics specialization, TEMS enables the healthcare organization to gain efficiencies and scalability of reporting, assess the quality and speed of analytics, measure adoption and usability of data, and progress towards high-value analytics. 
  3. Other tech-enabled services. TEMS is an ideal solution for any tech-enabled role within the healthcare organization to minimize budget shortfalls and layoffs while maximizing technology investments. Positions include but are not limited to: 
    • Electronic data warehouse and data operations
    • Ambulatory support operations
    • Costing as a service
    • Many others that are economically most impactful under TEMS

Benefits of TEMS

With financial guarantees and a proven approach towards employee care, TEMS provides immediate relief in labor expenses through a managed services partnership that drives efficiencies over time without the typical compromises inherent in traditional outsourcing options. 

Alleviate Financial Pressures

TEMS is a strategic outsourcing partnership supported by a methodical approach to leverage people and technology for maximum value improvements. Cost reductions and financial benefits for the healthcare organization are guaranteed within the first year as Health Catalyst becomes invested in the healthcare organization’s success. Health Catalyst assumes the short-term risk and creates a commitment for payment as value is created in the TEMS partnership. Savings are clear in multi-year contract agreements that are customized to match the healthcare provider organization’s short- and long-term goals. Common contract configuration allows for savings of up to 15 percent within the first year and held throughout the contract or 25 percent achieved by year five (starting with a 5 percent savings in year one and an additional 5 percent of added savings every year). 

Care for Employees

Health Catalyst takes great care in transitioning employees. Establishing an onsite presence at the healthcare organization to manage the initial communication with team members is critical and supports a positive transition. 
Unlike traditional outsourcing, where roles will be replaced, employment offers are extended to 100 percent of the healthcare organization’s team members who are included in the TEMS arrangement. Health Catalyst leadership organizes a town hall event onsite at the provider organization. Operational leaders meet with each new employee before they accept their employment offer. Employees are given ample time to accept or decline the employment offer with Health Catalyst. Then, rebadged team members are welcomed immediately into the Health Catalyst family and provided with continuity of their work, job tenure, and positive workplace environment. 

Health Catalyst prides itself on team member engagement and employee satisfaction. To date, TEMS has achieved a 98 percent offer-acceptance rate, and rebadged employees have extremely low turnover. 

Robust benefits, including stipends and allowances, are immediately available to new employees and are often more comprehensive than at the healthcare organization. In addition, Health Catalyst’s unique approach to inclusion and company culture has earned the company the following 2023 accolades. 

  • Women Tech Council’s Shatter List for Six Years in a Row
  • 100 Companies Championing Women in Utah
  • Newsweek’s One of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women in 2023
  • Newsweek’s One of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity in 2023
  • Trudy Sullivan, Health Catalyst’s Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers

Health Catalyst provides ongoing professional development for all team members that goes beyond task focus and includes learning new valuable skill sets for further advancement opportunities. 

Health Catalyst remains committed to the ideal of job or task elimination without eliminating employment of the team member who owns that work. As efficiencies are created and less manual work is required, team members have the opportunity to pursue different opportunities that leverage their unique skill sets. They may stay with the same client but adjust their focus to new capabilities. 

Ensure Dependable Performance

Workforce reductions put clinical, financial, and quality excellence at risk, as transitional periods are usually times of heightened uncertainty throughout an organization. When outsourcing and onboarding experts guide the processes, transitions become easier for all parties, and employees can continue to perform their roles without disruption. 

To overcome the inherent risks that follow traditional outsourcing models, Health Catalyst has developed a framework for a transition that: 

  • Works with clients to develop key performance indicators, service-level agreements (SLAs), and a shared governance committee to ensure results are achieved, and all voices are heard. Transparency and flexibility for future growth are foundational pillars when co-creating SLAs. 
  • Health Catalyst establishes a do-no-harm approach through the transition of people, processes, and technology. We strive for no immediate disruption to people’s work and daily tasks, and future planning is done in a thoughtful, incremental way. Even the employees’ work environment transition is considered and mutually agreed upon. In some arrangements, the rebadged employees continue to report on-site. In other arrangements, rebadged employees are fully remote, often freeing up critical real estate for our partners. Employees are given the tools, training, and support to transition to remote work with minimal disruptions.  

“Health Catalyst is innovative in our technology, our commitment to client partnerships, and how we support our employees. TEMS is a win-win solution for healthcare providers as it solves their labor cost challenges with a proven approach to outsourcing and guarantees financial benefits for long-term partnership accountability.”

Partner for Specialization

A healthcare provider organization can become streamlined and laser-focused on its core mission and deliver the highest quality of patient care when a specialized partner alleviates the pressure of healthcare data management and analytics insights. 

Luckily, Health Catalyst can offer scalable future growth and vendor consolidation as your needs evolve. Our breadth of experience gives us more perspective on the up and downstream impacts that changes can have on the delicate ecosystem providers are managing.

Health Catalyst is uniquely suited to deliver actual outcomes in ways that other outsourcing vendors simply can’t replicate: 

  • Economies of scale. We can leverage economies of scale across our base of 500+ clients and growing. We are a conduit of best practices and learnings, informed by large-scale engagements across the country, allowing our partners to become learning laboratories and consuming what works best for them. Health Catalyst’s appetite and capacity for developing or acquiring solutions to the problems to be solved is greater than any one of its client-organizations because such solutions can be applied across its base of 500+ clients.
  • Mission-driven focus. Our mission is focused exclusively on data-informed measurable improvements in healthcare. This focus and culture of continuous learning allow for clusters of expertise to multiply as experts learn from each other and elevate their approaches to some of the most complex healthcare challenges. 
  • Enterprise approach. Our holistic approach to evaluating data as a strategic asset includes people, processes, and technology that continuously adapt and respond to healthcare changes.
  • Health Catalyst is deeply invested in the success of client partners. Our managed IT services business model depends on us becoming integrated into the healthcare organization as mutually beneficial partners. In short- we can’t be successful if our clients are not. 

Healthcare Labor Management Strategies for Provider Organizations to Thrive

Healthcare financial headwinds will continue into the foreseeable future. Without a plan for immediate action, healthcare provider organizations will be unable to mitigate skyrocketing operating and employment costs and run the risk of long-term financial uncertainty. For healthcare partners needing support in their operational restructuring plans, TEMS solves significant labor expense challenges without reducing the workforce or eliminating jobs for employees. 

A commitment to guaranteed performance, reduced labor costs, improved outcomes, and simplified operations with a thoughtful employment approach provides a competitive advantage for healthcare providers. TEMS brings clarity to the healthcare financial crisis by establishing a trusted partnership with Health Catalyst to:

  • Alleviate financial pressures
  • Care for employees
  • Ensure dependable performance 
  • Partner for specialization

Unlike other healthcare outsourcing solutions, Health Catalyst has a powerful allegiance to healthcare provider organizations and leverages these relationships to fuel outcomes that drive financial stability. Contact us today to learn more about a TEMS approach tailored for success

Additional Reading

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Here are some articles we suggest:

Can Healthcare Outsourcing Rescue Hospitals from Labor Challenges that Underpin Their Financial Struggles? Part 1: The Struggle

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