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.

The High Cost of Not Having an Online Marketing Strategy | Online marketing

B2B and industrial companies are slow to embrace online marketing. It’s a curious reluctance given that online marketing is performance-driven, pays for itself, and consistently delivers new, qualified business that can mean dramatic increases in sales and growth.So, why are some companies sometimes reticent about using online marketing when the benefits in terms of exposure and revenue are so substantial? We thought we’d seek out those with the answers.Direct From the SourceWe talked to CEOs and Marketing Managers of companies that have embraced online marketing. These industry leaders are quick to confirm that Internet marketing more than pays for itself. In addition, in a short period of time online marketing has become a critical, indispensable channel for generating customer awareness and sales directly enhancing the bottom line.The message from industry insiders clear: The risk involved with online marketing is small. The rewards are infinite.We asked a number of your B2B colleagues what it would have cost them to delay embracing the power of online marketing. This is what they had to say.Lost BusinessExperts agree that online search has become the primary source of information for those making B2B buying decisions. Most business consumers first turn to a search engine during the investigation phase of their buying process, and just about all of them will use the Internet at some point during the decision-making process. That’s right. Nearly all of them.That’s a staggering fact, and those who have taken advantage of online marketing know this trend is some of the best news in decades for companies willing to exploit the new ways businesses do business.The reliance on search in the buying process means your company has never had a better opportunity to reach and capture new business. But it also means that every day you wait means business lost to your competitors.Online Marketing Pays for ItselfIndustry pros understand the bottom line and the need for measurable returns on any investment, especially when it comes to spends for advertising and marketing. They also understand that online marketing is one of the few methods guaranteed to pay for itself.Online marketing, specifically paid placement and search engine optimization, have a proven track record in giving companies the highest returns of any vehicle in their marketing mix.In addition, online marketing is a low-risk proposition because it’s based on performance. You pay only if a potential customer clicks on your ad. Utilizing that system, the cost of acquiring a customer is dramatically reduced.Those in the know insist online marketing generates 20-50% of the qualified sales leads in industries that have traditionally relied on sales prospecting, word-of-mouth and trade shows.The numbers don’t lie. What is your company waiting for?CompetitionEveryone wants a competitive advantage, but even tried and tested methods can’t keep pace with the monumental strides being made with online marketing.With online marketing, you can fend off your competitors and dominate niche markets. The Internet creates a level playing field where businesses of all sizes can compete. Anyone can stake a position as a leader. What would it be worth to your company to be in that position?And here’s another insight we heard from B2B pros. One of the unique benefits of the Internet is that is affords smaller businesses the chance to appear bigger than they are. Online, a three-person operation can look slicker than an international conglomerate. You can turn this to your advantage with a minimal investment of time and money. Indextree can show you the way.So, why is it important to dive into the world of online marketing now? The hard fact we hear from B2Bs is that once a company entrenches itself in a certain arena online, it’s hard to dislodge it. At the moment, in most industries, search rankings and market dominance aren’t set yet. They will be, and it will cost you more down the road to accomplish what you can accomplish now with far fewer resources.As in most areas of business, in the realm of online marketing, it pays to act decisively..Online Buyers are Ready to BuyThose who have reaped the rewards of online marketing will attest to the fact that customers who research and compare products and services online are much more predisposed to buying. It’s just the nature of the medium. Much of your job of selling is done by the time someone reaches your Web site.In the world of online marketing, your customer is already looking for your product. They’re actively looking to do business with someone. That someone should be you.New competitorsIt’s not something you like to think about, but they’re out there, and they’re after your business. New players are entering your market every day, and they’re capturing your market share.The tools we’re talking about are a double-edged sword. If you don’t capitalize on the benefits of online marketing, do you think your competitors will hesitate to do so? Aggressive, upstart companies are pulling out all the stops, exploiting economies of scale and using online marketing to extend their reach.Don’t just wait and watch while these companies erode the fiscal health of your company. Can you really afford to have these competitors encroach on what you’ve fought so hard to build? It’s time to reclaim what’s yours, and online marketing is the answer.CommoditizationTrust us, we don’t just throw around big words because it makes us feel smart. The Internet has given customers an unprecedented ability to shop and compare, often reducing the buying decision to price alone. But this “commoditization” of products doesn’t do your company justice, and your bottom line may already be suffering because of it.What’s the answer to the problem of commoditization? How do you distinguish yourself? How do you communicate your differentiating qualities to potential customers?Online marketing provides an excellent vehicle for branding and also allows you to capture potential customers earlier in the buying process.Quality business interactions are more than just a price point. Be heard. Stand out. Reap the windfall.Build Buyer Awareness and Drive Traffic Here’s the ugly truth. Many manufacturers and distributors don’t do a great job with their Web sites. We hear this time and time again not only from the CEOs and Marketing Managers, but also from consumers.Site visitors are often frustrated by poor online marketing practices. In fact, studies show two-thirds of B2B site visitors complain they don’t find what they are looking for, and almost half never return to the site as a result. Now, we’re not saying yours is one of those sites. But are you sure you’re turning Web site traffic into sales consistently? What impression are you giving potential customers when they visit your site? Are your customers telling other potential customers how professional and easy-to-use your site is?Online marketing has a lot more to do than simply having a visually appealing Web site. It’s more than simply buying keywords and hoping they’ll bring you more business. Buying unqualified leads from unknown sources is often like putting your money into a kiln.Effective online marketing requires knowledge, strategy, implementation, monitoring, and follow-through. Those are the skills and qualities we pride ourselves on at Indextree.The High Cost of Waiting on the SidelinesAs you read this, there’s a good chance your competitors are working on their online marketing strategies. It’s even possible they’re making inroads into capturing key customer segments you may never be able to recapture.Is business good right now? Sure. Is it great? Could be better. With an effective online marketing strategy, it could be great.So, what’s it costing you to wait?Take it from those who have seen the benefits of online marketing firsthand. Standing on the sidelines has never been so costly.

Learn About Organic Livestock Measures | livestock

The idea of organic livestock is one that has really captured the attention of people. Stories of cattle being given large amounts of steroids and additives in order to bulk them up has people worried. There are studies that indicate consuming such meat isn’t’ good for you. Yet there are other studies that will tell you it doesn’t matter. Realistically though we live in a society where people are obese and have tons of health concerns. Could it be that the meat consumed plays some role in those factors?There are ranches in 30 states throughout the USA that grow organic livestock. In addition to cattle they also raise pigs, goats, and sheep. The biggest areas where you will find this taking place are New York, Wisconsin, and California. All of the foods that these animals are fed is organic in nature. There are strict guidelines about what they can be fed that are carefully followed. These ranchers are closely monitored too in order to ensure they don’t cut corners.The living conditions for these animals must be very similar to what they would experience in the wild. As a result it takes more open space to raise them than in conventional methods where they are jam packed into tight quarters. They have to be closely monitored for illnesses because they aren’t given vaccines or antibiotics.To help prevent the development of disease and other problems in these types of organic livestock environments they have to take other measures. For example they rotate the locations where the animals are able to graze. The offer them a diet that is free from any types of additives. As a result they animals have a healthy immune system to fight off illness. Any animal that may seem ill is quarantined and inspected so that it can’t spread any illness to the rest of the livestock.Keeping the living conditions very clean is a huge part of this type of organic livestock raising. Without that being in place the risk of bacteria or disease developing would be too great. By making sure the basic needs of these animals are continually met the overall stress levels are reduced too. Many experts believe this can affect the quality of the meat and milk that they produce.Everything from the care these animals get to how they live until it is time to slaughter them has to be carefully considered. There are stick guidelines in place and the goal is also to offer them a humane place to live while they are being grown for a source of food. The growth process though is one that takes place naturally instead of being speed up and enhanced by man made processed.In addition you will also be able to find lots of organic dairy products. They include milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. There are large dairy farms in California and New York where these cows are maintained for the sole purpose of producing milk. It is carefully processed to taste great but without all of the additives that our bodies really don’t benefit from.Finding locations where you can buy organic meat becomes easier all the time. Many grocery stores now offer a nice supply of it due to the demand. You may have to ask around for it in your area. Make sure you read labels to find that which is at least 95% organic but try to get your hands on products that are 100% organic. This way you can enjoy the meat you eat and not have to worry about various types of additives found in them.