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US Healthcare Firms Seen Looking for Medical Coding Resources in PH

by: Karen Cayamanda

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 | Company News |

MicroSourcing is seeing increased interest from US healthcare companies about building medical coding operations to help fill their need for medical coding resources. The upcoming implementation of ICD-10 medical coding regulations is a major disruption to the US healthcare industry and is expected to create an even larger shortage of qualified medical coding professionals in the United States.

The US healthcare industry has been working with the current version of ICD-9 since 1979 and the new ICD-10 regulations will become effective on October 1, 2015. The transition to ICD-10 is significant and will radically change the way coding is done, with the number of codes under ICD-10 increasing dramatically from approximately 18,000 to 140,000 codes.

At the recent American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) conference, there were discussions about the impact of the loss of productivity as medical coders struggle with getting proficient with the new codes. There is also an expectation that many medical coders will decide to retire and not to get trained in ICD-10.

United Healthcare, WellPoint, and Aetna, which represent three of the largest US healthcare companies, all have operations in the Philippines and they have helped drive last year’s 55% growth in healthcare services outsourced to the Philippines. Industry experts are forecasting the number of Philippine workers in the healthcare outsourcing segment to reach 120,000 by 2016.

US healthcare companies looking to outsource medical coding operations

MicroSourcing is being told by many of the US healthcare companies inquiring about setting up a medical coding operation, that they feel they need to explore all the available options to ensure they can meet their production requirements. Cary Weltken, MicroSourcing’s SVP-North America, said, "Our Managed Operations delivery model is the perfect solution for healthcare companies who need certified medical coders to meet production requirements, but need to maintain total operational control and meet strict data security requirements for HIPAA compliance."

Philip Koojiman, CEO of MicroSourcing, added, "It is estimated that the Philippines has a pool of over 150,000 nursing school graduates that we can draw on to become AAPC CPC medical coders. Our current US healthcare customers who have coding operations with MicroSourcing have all indicated that they plan to grow their Philippine operations as a way to meet their increasing productivity requirements."

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