Client News

Healthcare BPO growth exceeds projections

(Manila, Philippines, November 23, 2012) — Considered the most promising sector of the IT-BPO industry, the healthcare information management (HIM) sector posted a 172 percent growth in 2011. International research firm MarketsandMarkets reports that HIM will become a US$329-billion industry by 2016, substantially larger than the entire IT-BPO industry, which is projected by Everest Group to grow to US$256 billion that year.

The Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), are pursuing all measures to sustain this growth. During the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Services Congress (HIMOSC), discussions revolved around topics on business continuity, workforce redirection, and retooling development.

“The Philippine healthcare outsourcing industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the IT-BPO industry. Together with HIMOAP and other stakeholders, we will ensure that the needs of the industry are properly addressed,” said DOST-ICTO Director Patricia Abejo. According to a study by MarketsandMarkets, the global healthcare BPO industry is projected to be worth US$330 billion by 2016. In the Philippines,HIM is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry. By the end of 2012, it is expected to generate revenue of US$433 million and employ 43,000 Filipinos.

“This one sector of the IT-BPO industry stands to be bigger than what is projected in the entire market. These are tremendous implications for the Philippines,” said DOST-ICTO deputy executive director for ICT Industry Development Alejandro Melchor. “If you do the math, the country can build on the present market share which is 8 percent of the global market; and all our clients are geared towards capturing a minimum of 13 to 15 percent,” he said.

Acquiring impressive numbers for industry growth and employment is only one side of the IT-BPO industry. Keeping investors and clients in the country is another story. To ensure industry growth, HIMOAP constantly involves a lot of key players in promoting best practices.

“We also have the government as a support to create a professional atmosphere in which the problems of the government can join with the initiatives of the association. Aside from that, we have the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP). We’ve been doing umbrella work for all of us in order to make sure that they can deal with the large problems and initiatives,” said HIMOAP president Juanloz Botor.

Another challenge for the HIM sector is the growing competition among emerging economies. China, for one, has started to train its citizens to be competent in English. “It’s a growing market so I don’t think it’s a threat to us. The Philippines has been teaching English for so many years and ingrained in American culture. These are the things that lured companies like my own in the first place,” said HIMOAP chairman Jeff Williams. “It’s a matter of how well we do and are we doing the best that we can to make sure we provide the best to the rest of the world.”

HIMOAP, formerly known as the Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MTIAPI), has also shifted focus from medical transcription alone to a wide array of healthcare services.

“We are now focusing on the higher-end aspect of this work, not only the transcription, but we’re also moving to higher value services,” said Williams.

The Philippine HIM sector has evolved to provide services in all aspects of healthcare information management, including clinical data management, disease management, revenue cycle management, pharmacy benefits management, electronic medical records, medical claims recovery, patient education, insurance processing, and quality assurance.

The range of services offered by the healthcare BPO has also provided employment especially to professionals and graduates of medical courses. “Unemployed nurses turned out to be a boon to the industry. We actually conceptualized a plan, and we’re working with our very close partner HIMOAP as well as BPAP to grow the Philippine market share,” said Melchor.

“I think it is good that the Philippines is looking into the marketing of HIM not only for its population, but also to market the top services that the country can provide to the rest of the region,” said Steven Yeo, vice president and executive director of HIMSS Asia Pacific and general manager of HIMSS Analytics Asia/Middle East.

About the Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines
The Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP) formerly known as the Medical Transcription Industry Association of the Philippines, Inc. (MTIAPI) is a non-stock, non-profit industry organization recognized by the Philippine government and IT-BPO industry. The association was first registered as MTIAPI with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission in October 16, 2003 and renamed as HIMOAP in August 2010. HIMOAP prides itself in bringing together the Philippines’ most distinguished and active players in the healthcare outsourcing industry towards a common endeavor. The association serves the needs of the HIM service organizations, HIM education and training centers and vendors as it promotes the Philippines as the destination of choice for quality healthcare information management outsourcing services.