Insurers forming partnerships with outsourcers to obtain local talent from underserved cities with rich, yet untapped labor pools probably isn't revolutionary. But carriers that create subsidiaries specifically to extend, via successful outsourcing partnerships, its service platform to other insurance companies-is notable.In 1993, BlueCross and BlueShield of South Carolina, through its wholly owned subsidiary Companion Technologies Corp., did just that. The carrier teamed with TM Floyd & Co., Columbia, S.C., to form Companion Services Inc., d/b/a TMF to offer consulting services to other health insurance organizations.

Glenn Hedgecock, director of T. M. Floyd's P & C division, says TMF finds its technical talent right in its own backyard, at the University of South Carolina, Georgia State, and Midland Technical College, where the company helps support internships. "We provide a great local training program," he says, adding that TMF typically places a senior business analyst with 10-30 years of experience, a junior analyst and a host of technical support people at the client's site.

TM Floyd's 30-year history as a consultant, along with its experience as prime contractor to BCBS S.C., continues to pay off. It's work with the carrier, which is known to have the largest Medicare claims processing center in the U.S., gave the company exhaustive knowledge and expertise of both the provider and payer sides of the healthcare transaction process, specifically in the areas of technology-based solutions to such issues as coordination of benefits, remittance advice, and claims adjudication.

Hedgecock says collective health insurance knowledge within BCBS S.C., combined with TMF's consulting experience, makes the new organization uniquely qualified to provide organizational and systems solutions to healthcare and health insurance entities.

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