Negros Occidental will be the first province in the country to offer a course for medical billing through the language and information technology center ofthe provincial government.
The provincial government, through the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center, will fund a training program for Billing and Coding Certified Specialist and Certified Professional Coder courses this year.
NOLITC administrator Cristina Orbecido said yesterday that it will be the first time a province will offer the course to keep up with the demand for workforce in the Health Information Management sector in the Knowledge Process Outsourcing industry.
The course will be based on a certified United States curriculum drafted by American-based MedStar Billing Technology and Resource.
Orbecido said this will open another opportunity for Negrenses as this will be calibrated with international standards through partnering with MedStar.
A memorandum of agreement was signed between the provincial government and MedStar, represented by its president, Judilyn Cañete, Orbecido, and Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. at the provincial Capitol in Bacolod City yesterday, to start the program.
The curriculum, that is used at the New York City College, will be used by NOLITC in implementing this program in March.
Cañete, who is a Negrense, said the demand in the US for health information technicians is growing, and outsourcing Filipino workforce has been one of the interventions to address the issue.
With the MOA, Negros Occidental will be the first province in the country to offer programs intended for HIM,she said.
The US Department of Labor stated that in the outlook handbook, the employment of health information technicians is projected to grow 22 percent by 2022, a faster rate compared to other occupations, she said.
Working as a medical biller and coder also offers big salaries. Cañete disclosed that in the US, the average salary for medical coding is about $60,000 while medical billing is around $35,000 to $40,000 annually.
Taking this course in the US will cost $2,500 in tuition, but the provincial government will offer 25 scholarship slots in the pilot implementation of the program this year, and another five from MedStar.
Orbecido said interested applicants can go to the NOLITC office where there will be an exam to qualify for the scholarship. She said anyone can apply for the program.
“We have a lot of talents here in Negros, especially in health information management, and all they need is proper training,” she said. *MLG
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