The provincial government, through the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center (NOLITC will launch its first Medical Billing and Coding course.  The provincial government 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 company, MedStar Billing Technology and Resources.

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 CEO/ 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 City College of New York, which was crafted by the owner of Medstar herself, a native of Bacolod will be used by NOLITC in implementing this program in March 2018  .

Cañete, 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 50 scholarship slots in the pilot implementation of the program this year.

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.

Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and MedStar Philippines Healthcare Information Management Inc. president, Judilyn Cañete (3rd from left), sign the MOA for the Billing and Coding Certified Specialist Course and Certified Professional Coder Course implementation, with NOLITC head Ma. Christina Orbecido and Board Member Pedro Zayco, chairman of the SP Committee on ICT.