The Philippines is set to become one of the leading service providers in healthcare info management this year. Already the global leader in outsourced voice-based services, the country has the manpower resources to be a major player in outsourced healthcare services. That's according to Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) deputy executive director Alejandro Melchor. "The availability of licensed healthcare professionals such as nurses in the country ensures the steady supply of agents to fill in the seats for healthcare outsourcing," Melchor said.
The ICTO has in fact identified four areas for growth and expansion: healthcare information management outsourcing; animation and outsourcing for creative processes; human resources outsourcing; and finance and accounting.
Melchor added that medical information outsourcing is the most promising of the four sectors and that the Philippines is the de facto leader this year, not in terms of total number of seats but in terms of being a destination of choice.
The ICTO deputy executive director further said that Filipino medical workers only need a little retooling of skills to become IT-savvy.
Melchor also pointed to the "steady growth of the aging baby boomers in the United States and the recently signed landmark healthcare law "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" under the Obama administration" as further indications of a bright year for the outsourced healthcare business. The ICTO deputy executive director added that the $530 billion dollars that will be used to implement the new US act can mean a big market for the outsourcing service providers in the Philippines.
The healthcare outsourcing industry includes high value services like management of revenue cycle, clinical coding, management of pharmaceutical benefits, disease management and, of course, back office medical transcription.
Melchor added that for the outsourcing industry in the Philippines to sustain growth, it should move towards more "high-value chain" services.
To create a guide for helping sustain growth in the four areas of expansion mentioned earlier, ICTO said it will work closely with the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines and the Business Process Association Philippines (BPAP). (30)