Healthcare information management (HIM) achieved the largest increase in employment in the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry last year.
By the end of 2012, it had 45,000 full-time employees (FTEs) or 80 percent more employees, making it the fastest-growing sector. With an estimated growth rate of 25 percent annually from 2012 to 2016, the HIM sector is estimated to employ 100,000 Filipinos by 2016.
The Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP) also reported that the HIM sector in the country has grown four-fold in the last two years. HIM revenues increased rapidly to $460 million or 66 percent growth in 2012 from 2011.
Growth in the HIM sector is largely driven by several factors, including the demand for integrated healthcare systems, an increasing pressure to cut healthcare costs, a rise in aging population that entails demand for medical care especially in developed countries, and the high incidence of chronic diseases.
The US Healthcare Reform Bill, which led to the expansion of healthcare coverage to 32 million Americans who have just acquired healthcare plans, has caused the sector to expand. It will require support in managing enrollment and claims, expanding databases and revenue cycles.
Moreover, the conversion of ICD-9 to ICD-10 of the medical coding system demands additional workforce to support the full implementation of the conversion by October 2014.
Since last year, HIMOAP, with funding support from the Department of Science and Technology?s Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), has been conducting a series of training seminars on talent development and industry capabilities. These include ICD-10 training, medical coding training, and various capability-enablement seminars.
?We recognize the immense potential of the HIM sector as different factors continue to contribute to its growth,? said HIMOAP president Dr. Josefina Lauchangco.
?The Philippines? competitive advantage in the growing healthcare outsourcing sector is built on the availability of talent pool, strong cultural affinity with the United States, and medical know-how that leads to good customer interaction skills and efficient delivery of niche services.?
To deepen understanding in the use of ICD-10 as a coding tool and the importance of the medical record to completely and correctly code a given diagnostic statement, HIMOAP is encouraging students and HIM and healthcare professionals to undergo ICD-10 training on July 1-5 and September 2-6, 2013. There will be lectures, presentations, and one-on-one consultations.
The Certified Coding Specialist-Physician-based (CCS-P) Training in September aims to train HIM professionals to become familiar with physician-based settings such as physician offices, group practices, multi-specialty clinics, or specialty centers.
According to Lauchangco, the training enables HIM professionals to competently review patient records and assign numeric codes for each diagnosis and procedure, and empowers them to play a critical role in a health provider’s business operations.
HIMOAP is also preparing for the biggest healthcare outsourcing event of the year, the 4th Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Services Congress (HIMOSC) slated in November.
Composed of presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions, the congress will explore issues in the global HIM market and will be attended by hundreds of delegates and industry experts.
Through the efforts of the government, industry players and other stakeholders, the HIM industry is expected to be a ?$1-billion industry employing 100,000 Filipinos by 2016,? Lauchangco said.
The HIM sector has provided strong career opportunities for the country?s oversupply of nursing graduates, who have found fulfillment in an array of HIM services including medical transcription, clinical data management, disease management, revenue cycle management, pharmacy benefits management, electronic medical records, medical claims recovery, patient education, insurance processing, and quality assurance.
HIMOAP is a partner association of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).