A global labour outsourcing company providing medical billing services to United States-based companies has expanded its services in Nyeri town and has opened a new office at KDS Centre.
The ONQ Kenya office will deal directly with US patients, providers, and payers.
About 200 workers have been hired to provide patient services, which encompass inbound and outbound calls dealing with billing questions, insurance information, and more detailed information about exams or procedures they have received.
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga opened the new office on Thursday, saying that it would offer employment opportunities to youths in the region.
“I am really excited because our own children will get employment in this firm. This is a very wonderful opportunity because the majority of our youth who have graduated from the university will get employment,” Mr Kahiga said.
“My government will fully support this company. I also urge Safaricom to provide a stable internet connection to this company so that it can improve its efficiency in its delivery of services.”
The US providers are mainly groups formed by medical practitioners in specific fields, such as radiographers, neurosurgeons and cardiologists.
ONQ Kenya CEO Sean Hammerle said the firm has also opened similar offices in the US, Panama and India, adding that he was looking forward to expanding the Nyeri office so as to accommodate more staff.
“My business partners and I did not have the idea of expanding our base beyond the US and India until the Covid-19 pandemic hit. We got the idea of diversifying our workforce so as to protect our clients globally. I realised that working in Nyeri was easier because there are a majority of highly educated youths,” Mr Hammerle said.
“In establishing the ONQ office in any place in the world, one of the company’s greatest consideration is the impact it will make to the youth in that particular area, which explains why the company avoids setting shop in major cities but instead chooses rural towns where the impact of youth employment and skills transfer will be felt most.”
The company also transfers money directly from the US to the country where the labour is being outsourced and not vice versa, enhancing foreign direct investment.
ONQ Kenya first set its base in Nyeri on October 26, 2021 with 25 employees, a number that has now grown to 200.
Mr Hammerle said the number would rise further to 500 by the end of this year to meet growing demand for its services.
“ONQ significantly impacts the youth in Nyeri and Kenya by providing them with stable employment and professional growth opportunities,” he said.
“After only nine months of operation, ONQ currently employs more than 200 youth, which goes a long way in solving Kenya’s unemployment challenge.”
He said ONQ equips its employees with the skills they need to do the job.
“In a short period, our agents are knowledgeable in the processes of US medical billing and automation. Furthermore, ONQ employees gain exposure to working in a global company,” Mr Hammerle said.
“With a source of livelihood and stable income, the Nyeri ONQ agents can reach their professional and personal goals. ONQ has become a safety net for educated youth to secure long-term career opportunities for personal growth.”