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Healthcare segment of BPOs on the rise

/ 07:23 AM November 13, 2013

AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine healthcare information management (HIM) sector is poised to maintain its fast-paced growth to become a top global destination, with expectations of chalking up revenues of $1 billion by 2016, and an employment level of 100,000.

Last year, the industry earned $433 million and employed 45,000 people, the largest employment increase among the IT-Business Process Management sectors. The HIM sector also posted the second highest increase in revenue of 66 percent, the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (Himoap) said in a statement.

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“The HIM sector in the Philippines has achieved so much in the past year, gaining traction globally, with international research firm Everest Group recognizing it as the ‘hidden jewel’ of the country’s information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry,” explained Himoap president Josefina Lauchangco.

According to Himoap, talent remains important in the industry both as an advantage and challenge.

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“There is high potential not only among healthcare graduates, but also in graduates of non-medical courses such as IT, business, and communication. Increasing the uptake for these jobs diversifies the workforce and expands the skills and services the sector can deliver,” the group noted.

“International reforms place a great impact on the industry’s direction. Regulatory changes in the US such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aim to expand access to healthcare insurance and lower the cost on healthcare spending, increasing demand for HIM companies to outsource,” it further said. “Almost 75 percent of healthcare companies in the US outsource their requirements, making it the largest source of outsourcing demand.”

The industry, according to Himoap, is also preparing for the US implementation of the International Classification of Diseases 10 (ICD 10) standard in 2014, which will revamp the medical coding system. Training programs are underway for healthcare professionals to adapt to this conversion.—Amy R. Remo

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TAGS: Business process outsourcing (BPO), healthcare information management, Philippines
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