The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application of Milenia Data Systems Inc. in putting up a PHp20.1 million business process outsourcing (BPO) project involving medical transcription in Makati City.

Milenia started operations last March 2017 with 23 employees and is projected to employ up to 88 personnel by the fifth year. The firm is expected to provide outsourcing services (through medical coding) to individual facilities of healthcare and rehabilitation center in the United States.

“The Philippines is in a position to take advantage of this outsourcing boom in the health information management (HIM) sector. The sector can easily tap the estimated 125,000 annual graduates of medical allied courses, including at least 80,000 in the Nursing, Physical Therapist, Medical Technologist and Physician professions,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

He added that the HIM sector has been a great catalyst for the growth of the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry in recent years, contributing to the government’s goal of providing employment to thousands of unemployed nurses and allied health professionals in the country.

HIM is the practice of maintaining personal health information in hospitals or other healthcare organizations enabling the delivery of quality healthcare to the public. It includes the accumulation, storage and accuracy of patient data. The range of HIM services evolved through the years to include pharmaceuticals, payer providers, medical transcription, clinical data management, disease, revenue cycle management, pharmacy benefits management, electronic medical records, medical claims recovery, patient education, insurance processing, and quality assurance.

The HIM sector aims to further expand the country’s expertise, hone the talent pool, and contribute further to the economy as the Philippines aspire to being one of the top global destinations for healthcare outsourcing services. Per the Health Information Sectoral Roadmap 2016-2022, the Philippines is on course to hit about US$5 billion in revenues, translating to 210,000 full-time employees by 2022. Revenues for the HIM sector in the country were estimated at US$2.4 billion with 118,000 personnel in 2016.

The broader IT-BPM industry had a banner year in 2016 with revenues hitting US$22.9 billion and manpower reaching 1.15 million. The 2016-2022 IT-BPM Roadmap projects revenue to reach US$38.9 billion and 1.8 million personnel by 2022.

It was estimated that the Global Healthcare IT-BPM market reached US$170 billion in revenues last year and it is projected to reach US$277 billion in 2021, according to the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines.