Saturday, March 30, 2013

Major Healthcare related acquisitions by Indian IT/BPO Vendors

US Healthcare Reform (Obamacare) – Big opportunity for Indian IT Outsourcing vendors in Healthcare Outsourcing

The US healthcare outsourcing market is currently estimated to be about $20 billion, according to outsourcing advisory firm Everest Group. Indian IT Vendors are targeting major chunk of this business worth billions of dollars in the next few years as US Healthcare Services Providers have to upgrade their systems, software and other infrastructure by January 1, 2014, when President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare will come into effect, which would result in United States spending $2.5 trillion. Obamacare seeks to extend insurance to country’s poor, which would extend insurance cover to 32 million Americans and also targets to reduce healthcare costs significantly and one way of reducing costs is outsourcing to countries like India and which will open up projects for Indian IT service providers that will help them in keeping up the revenue, margin and industry growth rates. Healthcare providers in North America which also happens to be the world’s biggest software services market are forced to upgrade existing medical systems by deploying newer software applications and they are outsourcing projects to Indian vendors such as Wipro, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., HCL Technologies Ltd, etc.

Work that can be outsourced to Indian IT/BPO Vendors include the maintenance and care of health records, conversion to ICD-10 coding, effective collection, management and use of information within healthcare systems, providing innovative healthcare technologies and applications that will help in delivering effective, efficient and low cost healthcare to the people. Indian Vendors have been providing medical coding and transcription services to US Healthcare providers for some time but the billing generated through medical coding is far less than the billing generated by Health care IT Systems projects. US Healthcare reforms will drive revenue growth for the Indian IT vendors in the coming future may be for next 10 years as the traditional strong vertical of Banking, Financial Services and Insurance vertical which contributes 50% of the revenues for the Indian IT Vendors is facing rough times since past few years and expected to face tough and volatile economic conditions for the next few years.

But the question arises whether Indian IT Outsourcing vendors have the necessary resources in terms of skilled professionals, domain experts, technologies and capabilities to service the US Healthcare providers. As highlighted by Jimit Arora, vice president at Everest Group Indian IT Vendors face a major challenges as they lack understanding of the domain solutions and are not familiar with medical terminology that will have  an impact on the ability to translate that into technological solutions and product offerings. But Indian IT Vendors are overcoming this challenge by acquiring the small medium players in the healthcare segment that offer niche product offerings and possess the necessary skills for the Healthcare outsourcing. All the major Indian IT Vendors TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Tech have been eyeing acquisitions in this space since past three years and BPO vendors like Genpact have acquired companies in Healthcare space like Jawood.  But overall the fact is that there is a significant revenue opportunity worth billions for IT companies because of Obamacare and Indian IT/BPO providers are likely to get 40-50 per cent of this revenue.