Indian firms hope to cash in on new U.S. healthcare law

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New Delhi, Mar.27 (ANI): Indian firms hope to cash in on the new U.S. healthcare law signed this week by President Barack Obama.

According to the Washington Post, Indian companies are working with U.S. insurers handling back-office operations, including claims processing, supply management and transcription services.

The extension of healthcare to 32 million Americans over the next decade will mean that the need for those services will grow, executives here said.

"The health-care reform bill is a very, very big opportunity for us," said Ananda Mukerji, managing director of Firstsource Solutions.

He said about 40 percent of the company's business comes from dozens of U.S. hospitals and insurance companies.

"A big part of what we do for the American companies is eligibility assessment services, where we assess eligibility of a patient for the Medicare program. We also work with hospitals to submit claims and enroll new patients. With the new bill, all this work will increase," he said.

The new law requires some insurance companies to devote more of the premiums they receive to direct healthcare and away from administrative costs.

"The healthcare law will create a huge pressure on American insurance companies to cut costs," said Rana Mehta, vice president of health care at Technopak, an independent consultancy firm in Gurgaon.

"Ultimately it is a business decision to outsource. All this new work has to go somewhere, and India will gain," Mehta said.

India's outsourcing industry was shaken last year when President Obama declared that he wanted to change "a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you a create job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York."

It has responded with new efforts to reach out to U.S. workers.

In anticipation of the healthcare law, many Indian companies are establishing a toehold in the United States by negotiating mergers and acquisitions in recent months.

This month, Patni Computer Systems, India's sixth largest IT firm, set up an office in El Paso after a multimillion-dollar deal with a U.S. health-care company. (ANI)

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