As Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector has embarked on a transformative journey to build a world-class system centred on patient care, which is a key directive of Saudi Vision 2030, some challenges as can be expected have surfaced. This is normal during a transitional phase and as a leading healthcare administrative career skills training academy, we see this as a time to offer evolved services and meet market needs during an unprecedented time.
It is essential to equip healthcare practitioners and providers with highly sought-after knowledge and skills in Revenue Cycle Management (RCM), Medical Coding, Clinical Documentation. The efficient implementation of these imperative skills bridges the financial gap between payers and providers, reduces claim denials, and improves revenues resulting in operational efficiency.
Circling back to KSA, healthcare providers are in need of trained personnel, and filling roles has become a challenge due to a lack of knowledgeable staff. As a result, accredited medical billing and administration roles have become sound and stable career choices as the Kingdom’s healthcare space evolves.
Elie Daoud, Managing Director at Knwbility
KSA’s healthcare system was about to embark on a new path as the Ministry of Health (MOH) began planning to privatise the healthcare sector and required a localised process to enhance its healthcare system. This change also required the creation of a national coding system where the Council of Health Insurance (CHI) and the Saudi Health Council (SHC) were brought in to implement coding requirements for the new private system.
Naturally, the country’s current and future healthcare workforce would have to expand upon current skill sets or learn a new approach to operate within the new system.
We viewed this development as an opportunity to expand and become a regional RCM and health information management (HIM) career development leader. Equipped with intel from the UAE, we foresaw the demand for a proficient and world-class workforce in Saudi Arabia and to support that need, we designed internationally accredited, customised courses for the Kingdom based on the new Saudi Billing System (SBS). Moreover, there are course options for medical professionals and those with no medical background looking to make a career change.
As expected with an untapped market, we did encounter some challenges and devised solutions to move forward in line with the country’s focus such as:
- Size and market capacity: Invested in a state-of-the-art e-learning platform to allow access regardless of geographic location and facilitate self-study. This solution also supports the national education level and assists current employees looking to upskill.
- National medical coding system and documentation standards: Previously non-existent, we sought to work with several regulators to help design and implement these new standards which are reflected in Knwbility’s courses on efficient recording and billing operations. With a holistic understanding and automated system in place, optimum healthcare services result.
- Addition of Diagnosis Related Grouping (DRG): DRG classifies diagnoses or conditions of similar illnesses under major diagnosing categories. This smart feature enables standardised payment systems to detect unnecessary treatments, which results in lower costs for healthcare providers and improves the quality of services rendered to patients.
Until recently, DRG did not exist in KSA, and Knwbility is helping to accelerate its development and implementation to use throughout the Kingdom’s medical facilities. Some additional solutions to support Saudi Arabia’s healthcare sector positioning plans include:
- Global health information association partnerships and accredited courses: Established alliances with renowned healthcare information and finance authorities such as the American Health Information Association (AHIMA), and the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) allow Knwbility to offer esteemed accredited courses.
- Professional development education (Saudi nationals): All courses are designed for complete independent self-study online, whilst still providing professional guidance from world-renowned international experts and trainers. This is largely due to supporting Saudi Vision 2030’s Human Capability Development Programme to champion higher quality education across all industries for the country’s next workforce generation.
Elie Daoud is the Managing Director at Knwbility, a healthcare training academy that provides RCM and HIM career training services across the Middle East with a firm presence in Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and India.