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Monday, May 25, 2015 - 02:16
Where is the prevention?

A recent global study by a New York-based think tank found that rising rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developing countries such as South Africa will cost the developing world approximately $21.3 trillion over the next two decades. The study also found that in 2013 alone, NCDs killed at least eight million people before their 60th birthdays in developing countries.

According to Dr Jacques Snyman, managing director of Integrated Care Solutions at Agility Global Health Solutions, non-communicable diseases have become a major global healthcare crisis, and the need for effective, low-cost, prevention-based healthcare solutions has become greater and more pressing than ever before.
“In the medical scheme environment, case studies have shown that holistic programmes which focus not only on providing healthcare to those who are sick but also on preventative care, deliver far better health outcomes for patients. They also pave the way towards reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases on the country’s healthcare system,” asserts Snyman.
In fact, the Health Quality Assessment (HQA), a non-profit company endorsed by the South African National Consumer Union, Board of Healthcare Funders and Council for Medical Schemes, performed an annual assessment of medical schemes and found that Resolution Health Medical Scheme (Resolution Health) is the industry leader in terms of prudent management of chronic disease patients. “Process indicators from the assessment also reported that the scheme is well below the industry average with regards to hospital admissions, re-admissions and the length of stay in hospital should patients require hospitalisation,” says Snyman.
He explains that the phenomenal results from the HQA assessment are due to the scheme making use of Agility’s Patient Driven Care™ programme, which is a health management programme that specifically targets members who have a high clinical risk, ultimately helping them to take better care of their health. “The programme places a key focus on preventative care and works hand-in-hand with members so that they take the necessary steps in order to avoid an adverse health event that may require hospitalisation,” outlines Snyman.
“For example, sophisticated and progressive clinical systems continuously monitor members’ claims patterns to quickly identify high risk patients. Once identified, the scheme helps these members better utilise their specific option’s benefits and, in some cases, allows members access to extra benefits that assist in them staying as healthy as possible, for as long as possible, thereby reducing hospital admissions and the burden on the health system in the long run,” he explains.
“The astounding results from the HQA report demonstrate Resolution Health’s commitment to containing healthcare costs and achieving quality medical outcomes for the members who fall under our management,” asserts Snyman.
“With a country plagued by preventable diseases that have a devastating impact on our health systems and contribute to the nation’s soaring healthcare costs, it is time that South Africa starts making better use of proven preventative services that promote healthy lifestyles.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:28.5 1st May, 2015
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