Title: e-Healthcare: a model on the offshore healthcare delivery for cost saving

Authors: Sushil K. Sharma, Nazim Ahmed, Rathin S. Rathinasamy

Addresses: Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA. ' Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA. ' Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA

Abstract: The internet has enhanced the ability of healthcare providers successfully to manage projects spanning time zones, cultures and physical distances. The high cost of healthcare in the USA is not only affecting the healthcare industry but also placing a great burden on the competitiveness of many major US manufacturing and other businesses. The biggest challenge for both providers and payers in the healthcare industry is not about HIPAA compliance but about how to be profitable. In response to cost-reduction pressures, healthcare providers are exploring a new option of offshore healthcare delivery. This paper develops an offshore healthcare delivery model. The offshore healthcare delivery model has a vast potential to improve both patient- and system-level outcomes, especially by improving access, efficiency and continuity of care. However, these benefits are not automatic and policy decisions about the extension of the offshore healthcare delivery model must be made after careful evaluation of exactly how the offshore healthcare delivery model affects outcomes and whether these outcomes justify the associated costs. The paper also examines the various potential issues and outlines some of the challenges in implementing the model. The study is based on examining the USA healthcare delivery model and subsequent discussions with many medical practitioners in the USA and India. The study outlines the framework of the offshore healthcare model and points out critical issues and challenges that need further examination before the model is considered as clinically viable for cost-effective treatments and quality care.

Keywords: e-commerce; e-healthcare; electronic healthcare; telemedicine; offshore healthcare delivery; cost savings; cost reduction; USA; India; United States; cost effective treatment; healthcare quality.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2005.006540

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2005 Vol.6 No.3, pp.331 - 351

Published online: 20 Mar 2005 *

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