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Philippine Healthcare Outsourcing Sector Gaining Traction

by: Sarah Joson

Friday, August 31, 2012 | Outsourcing News |

Increase in healthcare outsourcing industry

Amidst being acknowledged as the current global leader for call center outsourcing, the Philippines is anticipated to do well in another rapidly growing segment which is health information management (HIM)outsourcing.

In an article posted at news.IDG.no, a 172% increase was identified by the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP) for the local healthcare outsourcing industry. It posted US$277 million in earnings last year, much higher than S$102 million in 2010. Moreover, the number of the sector’s employees grew from 14,000 in 2010 to 25,000 in 2011.

Jeff Williams, Chairman at HIMOAP, said with the tremendous achievements the sector has brought to the country, there’s no question that sooner or later, the Philippines will evolve as the leader in the robust healthcare services outsourcing arena.
Meanwhile, a 21.4% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) was seen for the global healthcare outsourcing market by business market research firm Markets and Markets. At present, there are 256 million Americans who have insurance. It is expected to grow because of President Obama’s stipulation that by 2014, all Americans should have insurance.  

JL Botor, President at HIMOAP, said the Philippines have greater chances of becoming the global leader in the healthcare services sector. In fact, more and more investors are also seen kicking the healthcare outsourcing activity in high gear. Local organizations, on the other hand, are working to improve potential workforce, infrastructure, and regulatory environment.

HIMOAP, formerly known as the Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MTIAPI), is an organization that strongly supports the healthcare outsourcing industry. It provides programs that will further attract investors dealing with healthcare services to outsource to the Philippines. Some of its members include providers of clinical documentation, IT, and training services to entities in the healthcare sector.

The Philippines and Healthcare Information Management
Back then, medical transcription services were the only type of activity seen in the healthcare outsourcing arena, but it was progressively changing as the requirements of the market are evolving. Soon enough, clinical coding, disease management, revenue cycle management, and pharmaceutical benefits management were being outsourced by foreign clients.

One of the reasons experts believe that the country will do well in the global healthcare services industry is the oversupply of nursing graduates (400,000) as well as medical associates in the country. A report from Commission on Higher Education (CHED) showed that even with a low demand rate, more and more students are still taking nursing courses. At present, the HIM sector will be able to accommodate and provide employment opportunities to said candidates.

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