Government offers Pinoys opportunity in medical-coding certification

FILIPINO professionals, especially those into information-communications technology, will soon be trained as United States-certified medical coders and billers.

The Philippine government, through the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), will fund this certification training program. This will be in partnership with the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP) and TeleDevelopment Services (TDS).

Hence, successful trainees will obtain certification from the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC), the largest medical coding certifying organization. Although the training is targeted for ICT professionals, the training is open to all applicants.

Ideally, training participants are expected to be ICT professionals “specializing in medical coding and billing, who are readily employable with skills deemed sufficient for industry needs and international certification standards,” HIMAP President Cristina Coronel was quoted in a statement by the DICT.

The certification training partnership will officially be called the Medical Coding and Certification Program (MCCP).

The MCCP is a full-time concentrated curriculum on medical coding concepts and application. It will run for eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. In total, it will run for 200 hours for five weeks.

Coronel said the course will be teaching fundamental coding skills in an outpatient physician setting. Therefore, it will prepare the trainees in taking and passing the AAPC’s Certified Professional Coder (CPC) exam.

She said the CPC credential has been considered as “the gold standard for medical coding in a physician office setting.” According to Coronel, the program’s goal is for the trainees to qualify for hiring by reputable companies and HIMAP members.

All interested trainees will undergo the assessment process that DICT, HIMAP and TeleDevelopment earlier agreed on. Applicants with complete requirements will then take the qualification examination and interview.

Notably, the top 28 applicants will qualify for training. However, only the top 14 will be allowed to take the certification exam.

The program will cover the top 14 applicants’ training fees, books, membership registration and examination fees directly made to AAPC through TDS.

Nonetheless, all top 28 participants are eligible for employment with any HIMAP member firm, the DICT statement said.

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