Private Hospitals Can Do Much More to Help the Public SectorTue, 04/30/2019 - 09:57
The private sector can still step in to target some deficiencies in public healthcare, says Julieta Domínguez, Director General of Hospital DioMed. “Private hospitals close at night and do not have full occupancy,” she says. “Stronger integration between both sectors could significantly benefit both sides.”
Despite being categorized as a smaller health institution, Hospital DioMed has been able to provide high-quality surgeries to a diverse range of clients through a more flexible financial model. About 40 percent of clients pay out of pocket, 35 percent are insured and 25 percent of patients are covered by donations from foundations. Domínguez explains that the hospital’s goal is to find a payment solution together with the patient. Part of this strategy is to negotiate with insurers over packages and prices, and to develop workable solutions for people without the resources to access the private health system. “There is great demand in the public sector for particular operations and not enough doctors or facilities. Hospital DioMed could take some of that volume in exchange for sensible costs agreed with the government,” she says. Outsourcing these operations to private parties could end up saving public resources, but so far these kinds of agreements have met resistance.
Among the reasons why Hospital DioMed is able to provide specific treatments is precisely because it is a smaller hospital. This allows it to run at a lower cost and target particular areas. The hospital maintains a 24-hour schedule and uses an app platform called Blue Code to coordinate emergency surgeries. “Blue Code allows the team to track each step in a patient’s journey and ensure everything is ready for surgery when they arrive to the hospital,” says Domínguez. Recently, the hospital started sharing this app service with other small hospitals and providing training in its use, a strategy that she says could also benefit the public sector.