Complete Care at Attractive PricesSat, 09/05/2015 - 20:01
Q: What are the roots of Ginequito’s unique positioning?
A: Ginequito was founded in Nuevo Leon 39 years ago by a group of gynecological doctors concerned with female and newborn health. Since then, we have been innovators. We were the first hospital in Mexico to employ the gynecological laparoscopy, using glasses and cameras to operate with keyhole incisions. We are also experts and leaders in assisted reproduction. The hospital is home to the IECH fertility center, which saw the birth of the first Mexican baby conceived through assisted reproduction. Assisted reproduction techniques can cause multiple pregnancies that can be high risk and babies can be born in critical conditions. In response, we have acquired extensive experience in neonatal intensive care and have created the appropriate infrastructure in our Institute of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, where the most specialized studies are carried out on pregnancy outcome, serving as a reference for other hospitals. We are currently working on a program incorporating feedback from parents who have had premature, high-risk babies and who have subsequently left the hospital without complications. Additionally, we have always been concerned with teaching and innovation regarding this specialty. As a result we act as a base for the Gynecology Council exams that evaluate the doctors practicing in this field. Ginequito is also a medical society, and in our two medical centers we have around 200 doctors practicing, the majority of whom are gynecologists. There is no other institution in Nuevo Leon with the same concentration of specialists.
Q: How many patients do you treat each year and what have been the highlights of Ginequito’s growth in recent years?
A: Currently, we treat an average of 6,000 patients per year, 80% of whom are obstetrics patients and the remaining 20% require other female medical procedures. In 2005, a floor was opened for surgical medical specialties, which also caters to general surgical procedures for men, without taking the focus from our main differentiator - women. In the middle of 2016, we will open a new wing for general surgery and specialty care that will belong to a new general hospital with 50 beds. This will be part of Ginequito, but will receive another name so as to target the general population and not be perceived as a hospital solely for female care. The hospital will be connected to the Ginequito wing that has 60 rooms, as well as to our other medical centers. In this way, the whole infrastructure will become a comprehensive, interconnected medical complex. In addition, another wing will be opened for consultations, which will allow the doctors to remain close to their patients.
Q: What differentiates Ginequito from other private hospitals in terms of infrastructure and relationships with insurers?
A: Ginequito focuses on the C and C+ segments, which have seen a shortage of beds within the private sector. Other hospitals have facilities aimed at A and B segments that are not fully occupied. At Ginequito, 60% of patients pay out of pocket and 40% have some form of health insurance. We develop our relationships with insurers by offering competitive prices and charging for what the patient actually needs and uses, since we realize that the patients seek to manage their expenses and streamline costs just as much as the insurance companies. We also try to be as efficient as possible with our pricing since insurance companies evaluate hospitals according to their average annual costs in order to decide which policies can be covered. Our price level caters to all insurers, including policies with low and high premiums. Our doctors are aligned with this strategy since it is their responsibility to order the procedures and tests for the patients.
Q: What measures have you implemented in order to widen access for patients?
A: We facilitate hospital access through packages that include complete medical care but are more economic. Doctors can offer these packages at preferential rates to patients facing financial difficulties. We also offer payment plans as Alivio Capital, specializing in healthcare. Ginequito has been involved in high impact projects like Hospitaria, a relatively new hospital located in Escobedo, Nuevo Leon, which was created to facilitate access to comprehensive medical and professional attention in an area that previously lacked a hospital. Additionally, we have an agreement to treat public sector employees from the town of San Pedro. Such towns have clinics for first point of medical attention but all the patients requiring hospitalization and surgical intervention have to be transferred to a reference hospital. Private hospitals are always open to negotiating with the public sector to find ways to increase the number of patients treated through mutually beneficial arrangements.
Q: How much interest is there from foreign patients in seeking treatment in Monterrey and in Ginequito?
A: In reality, we receive very few patients in terms of hospitalization and obstetrics because few foreign people want their children to be born in Mexico. However, in the field of fertility we see many foreign patients. Other procedures like cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery, and varicose vein surgery are also attractive for medical tourists. Patients are looking for specialization and we have qualified doctors who are recognized at the national and international level. In fact, attraction of foreign patients to Monterrey is determined by medical specialization and not by perception of the city as a tourist destination. Additionally, we participate in the Health Cluster along with other private hospitals with the objective of making a united effort for the promotion of medical tourism. We have established useful links between the hospitals and are focusing on strengthening each one while mitigating the competition between us given that each hospital is defined by its specialty. The cluster also promotes the exchange and publishing of information to help generate more transparent and accurate statistics on a national level. We also belong to the Mexican Consortium of Hospitals, which includes 32 private hospitals from across the country and is dedicated to building synergies and sharing best practices in terms of medicine, ethics and human resources organization. We are accredited by the General Health Council with one of the highest qualifications and we are in the process of becoming recertified, which requires being audited. Having a prestigious certification represents various advantages while also intensifying our goal of continuous improvement.
Q: What are your main priorities for this year?
A: Ginequito is a private hospital with the highest number of births in Nuevo Leon and we are looking to solidify this leadership position through our focus on specialization and support of doctors. Ginequito is a hospital with an open-door policy, which means that the institution is committed to help solve the problems faced by doctors just as much as those faced by patients. This is one of our main differentiators. Given that the group is expanding, it is important for us to enlist new doctors from other specialties for the new General Hospital. Finally, this year we will undergo the recertification process by the General Health Council, which undoubtedly will consolidate our strength and success.