Outcome Health Layoffs: Automation in Healthcare Sector Causing Job Cuts

Outcome Health Layoffs
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Outcome Health Layoffs in Chicago and New York

No industry in America is immune from technological disruption—not even the traditional healthcare sector, which has long relied on humans to provide services. Take the example of the Outcome Health layoffs that occurred in the past week. We saw a healthcare technology company cutting jobs because of technology, resulting in healthcare layoffs.

The Chicago, Illinois-based Outcome Health, which provides technology solutions to the healthcare sector had, just days earlier, made promises to create 2,000 jobs in the city. Despite those promises to create jobs over a period of five years, the company has, in fact, laid off dozens of employees in the past week.

The exact number of the laid-off employees remains undisclosed, but, for a company of just over 600 employees, dozens could mean a significant percentage of its workforce.

Most of the job cuts took place at Outcome Health’s offices in Chicago, with some taking place in New York. For Chicago leaders like Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the job cuts should be a cause for concern, as they affect employment in both the city’s technology and healthcare sectors.

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Outcome Health was founded just over a decade ago by Chicago-based entrepreneurs Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal. In a short time span, the company managed to become one of the few “unicorns” in Chicago. For those who don’t know, “Unicorn” is what the tech sector calls a highly valued company, particularly one that is valued at more than a billion dollars. By that standard, Outcome Health was a “pentacorn,” having recently achieved an estimated value of more than $5.0 billion.

The company transitioned into high-growth mode earlier this year after it managed to get more than $500.0 million in funding from venture capitalists led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. In no time, Outcome Health acquired one of its competitors, doubled its workforce, and announced plans to increase its headcount further.

As details of the latest layoffs are revealed, it’s not a surprise that technology is the main culprit behind the Outcome Health layoffs. The company has cited technological improvements and automation in some of its operations as the reasons.

Following the layoffs, the company said in a statement: “This week, Outcome Health made the decision to part ways with some employees as part of Outcome Health’s broader effort to deliver greater value to our customers through operational excellence and accelerated investments in technology, automation, and process improvement.”

Automation Causing Job Cuts in Healthcare Industry

It is unsurprising that technology is beginning to kill jobs in the healthcare sector. After all, recent studies have suggested that almost 50% of today’s jobs could be lost to automation in the coming decades. The healthcare sector will likely not be spared from those changes.

Self-registration kiosks are already eliminating administrative positions at medical offices. We may soon be seeing robots assist patients and conduct tests, taking away some nursing jobs. Doctors have already begun using robots to carry out diagnostics and conduct surgeries.

While robots are only lending a helping hand, for now, there is a good chance that they may soon take over more tasks that are currently done by humans. This could mean that even the high-level profession of doctor may not be safe from the encroachment of automation.

Outcome Health contributes to the automation of the healthcare sector by providing digital solutions through smart devices. This allows patients to take ownership of the healthcare process instead of leaving it totally in the hands of healthcare providers.

It seems almost certain that technological advancements will continue to increase automation in the medical field, ultimately leading to more healthcare layoffs.

Source

Outcome Health is cutting jobs,” Crain’s Chicago Business, September 29, 2017.

How Will Robotics Impact Jobs in the Healthcare Industry,” Supplemental Health Care, July 19, 2016.

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