Paula Garavito
Director General
Grupo Centauro at Keralty
/
View from the Top

Dental Health an Overlooked Cornerstone of Well-Being

Fri, 12/18/2020 - 12:59

Q: How are Keralty’s clinics changing healthcare practices?

A: Healthcare systems across the globe are facing financing problems because they operate in a reactive mode. They provide care to those who are sick and, due to chronic diseases, their number keeps growing. Through preventive healthcare systems, it is possible to generate a health culture that prevents chronic disease, avoiding this large number of sick individuals.

Keralty’s clinics aim to provide medical attention with a focus on prevention. To do so, we perform an assessment of the individual risks people face to create personalized prevention plans to help them prevent diseases. We talk to clients to establish their health and well-being goals and help them achieve them. We have five clinics in Mexico City, we will soon finish another in Monterrey and next year we will open one in Guadalajara.

Q: What are the main services provided by Keralty’s clinics?

A: Our clinics provide mainly primary care, including general medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, nutrition and psychology. We also have teams of specialists in every area to support advanced cases. All our primary care doctors are hired by Keralty and beyond their base salary, they get a bonus for their results in management of clinical files, follow-ups, consultation times and other indicators that allow them to provide a better service.

We have built comprehensive testing facilities at our clinics so patients can receive all the tests they require sando doctors can diagnose the problem and prescribe a treatment as soon as possible. The clinics also incorporate comprehensive electronic clinical files, which allow us to compile the patient’s medical history in a single document to allow doctors to make better, faster decisions.

Q: How has Keralty overcome the challenges of changing an individual’s habits?

A: Creating a preventive healthcare environment is not easy but we have the advantage of having implemented such a model in Colombia, where we were able to integrate different levels of attention. Keralty’s process fully focuses on the patient. Through conversations with them, we created a series of programs that address specific needs, such as chronic diseases, diabetes and hypertension. These programs incorporate a diverse group of specialists to create an integral plan that supports all of the patient’s needs. Our model allowed us to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases and mortality in Colombia.

Some believe that insurers want people to get sick but nothing is farther from the truth. Insurers want people to remain healthy to keep costs down. To do so, it is necessary to engage the patient and ensure they use all preventive measures available and primary attention services as often as possible to prevent costly hospitalizations.

Q: How did your operations change to address the COVID-19 outbreak?

A: Through our global institute of clinical excellence, we developed a series of best practices for our medical activities, including biosecurity protocols that allow us to offer safe services to patients at all times. Alongside a Colombian manufacturer of odontology products, we designed a dental capsule that protects dentists and patients from COVID-19 as regular dental practices put them at risk of contagion.

Also, we have been using telemedicine tools as much as possible so patients can avoid public spaces and stay safe at home. Our telemedicine services are designed to help the patient feel comfortable, as many of them were wary at first. However, this service has grown significantly during the COVID-19 outbreak. Before the outbreak, we performed about 70 teleconsultations per month. Now, we perform around 12,000.

We are also building an online platform that provides patients the same experience they would get at one of our clinics. This app will allow them to set up appointments and receive daily suggestions to stay healthy at home.

Q: How is Keralty targeting health insurance through Seguros Centauro?

A: Keralty acquired Seguros Centauro two years ago. We have turned it into a company that specializes in dental care to improve an individual’s entire life. Our teams of general doctors and specialists work alongside dentists to develop comprehensive oral hygiene plans. Our long history in the insurance segment has allowed us to fully understand that by providing more preventive care to individuals, it is possible to improve their health. This also benefits employers and the company’s finances. We want people to use our insurance services as much as possible as they will help patients to stay healthy.

We are adapting our services to Mexico’s epidemiological profile. We have observed, for example, that those who live with diabetes find their dental health severely affected. Dental problems are one of the six most common hurdles among diabetics. We have also observed a link between periodontal disease and diabetes. If we can help patients manage their periodontal issues, they can reduce their risk of diabetes complications and improve their overall health.

Q: Insurance has low penetration in Mexico. How are you overcoming this barrier?

A: We are aware that less than 3 percent of the Mexican population had dental insurance in 2018. To increase our product’s penetration, we are working with our corporate clients to help them realize the importance of dental insurance for their employees. We are strengthening our online channel to increase awareness among the general public on the advantages of dental insurance to issue more individual and family policies. We have also built a specialized product for SMEs, which are finding it highly attractive and convenient.

Centauro is also developing a dental program for pregnant women and children, which will also educate them on the dangers of sugar and the benefits of healthy eating. High sugar consumption is a significant problem in Mexico, so we want to focus on developing educational programs that allow individuals to take preventive measures and improve their health.

 

Keralty, formerly Organización Sanitas Internacional, operates in the US, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Spain and the Philippines. The company operates as Grupo Centauro in Mexico in alliance with AXA Seguros