By S&TMedia Service
QUEZON CITY—The Philippines is poised to become the world leader in the multibillion-dollar worth healthcare information management outsourcing this year, an executive of the Information Communications and Technology Office said.
According to Mr. Alejandro Melchor, Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) Deputy Executive Director, the availability of licensed healthcare professionals such as nurses in the country would ensure the steady supply of agents to fill in the seats for healthcare outsourcing.
Aside from medical transcription, the healthcare outsourcing market has evolved to include high-value services namely, clinical coding, disease management, revenue cycle management and pharmaceutical benefits management.
Healthcare information management outsourcing is one of four areas that the Philippines is looking into for expansion, alongside finance and accounting, HR outsourcing, and animation and creative process outsourcing, said Mr. Melchor.
As the number one voice services provider worldwide, Mr. Melchor said that it is crucial for the country to move into “high-value chain” services such as the four growth areas.
“Medical information outsourcing is the most promising of the four sectors we are targeting for growth. In fact, the Philippines is the de facto number one this year, not in the total number of seats but in terms of being a destination of choice,” said Mr. Melchor.
To date, some 14,000 Filipino health care professionals earned $102 million in revenues for the healthcare sector.
ICTO promised it will work and coordinate efforts closely with the Business Process Association Philippines (BPAP) and the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines to plan a roadmap for the four high-growth areas.
During a press conference held last week, Ms. Gillian Joy Virata, BPAP executive Senior Executive Director, said that eight in ten companies that visit the country will do business here, a recognition of the country's skilled workers and favorable business climate.
Driving the growth of the huge market for Healthcare information management outsourcing is 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, said Mr. Melchor.
“Industry estimates that at least $530 billion dollars are needed to implement the measure and that means business for outsourcing players like the Philippines given our readily-available pool of certified medical workers,” explained Mr. Melchor.
“A little retooling of skills is needed to make the Filipino medical workers IT-savvy,” he said.
In a press statement, BPAP Chairman Alfredo Ayala said that the outsourcing industry will grow to $25 billion in export revenues in 2016. By that year alone, the sector will generate 1.3 million direct and 3.2 million indirect jobs.