Kochi: Medical Coding is one of the key emerging and evolving industries that has opened new vistas of opportunities. With major players in the healthcare industry and medical insurance companies drawing up ambitious plans, several multi-national IT companies and small-scale firms in India are excited about tapping its potential to the fullest.
The industry, which had been recruiting science and commerce degree holders in the past, has now started to offer career opportunities to medical, paramedical, microbiology and pharmacology graduates.
Since it is being dubbed a sunrise industry, a term used to denote an industry which is new or relatively new, is growing fast and is expected to be increasingly important in the future, many new firms are readying themselves to take the plunge.
As the medical processes being outsourced to India also include revenue cycle management, commerce graduates are also highly in demand. Medical billing, accounting and payment automation are part of revenue cycle management.
Like any other sub-sector of the IT industry, the Medical Coding sector too offer its services to foreign companies. However, experts point out that once medical tourism gains a foothold in India, it would open up large scale employment opportunities for medical coders in the country.
Medical Coding aids in identifying the claims and displays the entire history of the patient and the services provided. Hospitals require their service for collecting data and keeping a digital record.
Technopark-based RevenueMed, which was taken over by the US-based Navigant Healthcare, has been the major player in business process management services in healthcare in the State. Currently, the company employs around 2,000 coders. “If Medical Coding is incorporated into nursing and paramedical syllabus, it would definitely offer an excellent career avenue with immense potential and many undiscovered opportunities to students,” opined Navigant Healthcare managing director Mahendra Singh Rawat.
According to Rina Vivekanandan, managing director, Sinura Health Information Process Solutions (SHIPS), the Medical Coding and Revenue Cycle Management sector has enormous potential to expand to the Middle East as well. At SHIPS, dentists, nursing, Homeopathy, Ayurveda and pharmacology graduates are being employed, she said.
Interestingly, western countries have taken efforts to revive the sector after the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, came into existence.
Experts point out that the ICD-10 new coding system provides an opportunity to the Indian IT companies which is equal to the Y2K shift.