Juan Carlos Muñoz
Health System Director
View from the Top

Support for a Healthy Lifestyle

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 11:51

Q: What is Banorte’s approach to healthcare and how do employees benefit as a result?
A: Traditionally, companies go to third-party insurers to manage their employees’ healthcare. We are one of the few corporations that administer healthcare services internally. The main advantage this offers is that we can design the program’s structure ourselves and set our own standards.
Our approach is based on two elements. First, Seguros Banorte, which covers our employees’ major medical expenses with special offers and conditions. Second, we offer a health service called Banorte Salud, which provides consultations to employees by our own health professionals. All employees have access to this program, which means we do not discriminate based on position within the company or health status.
Other insurance agencies can lose clients due to competition over services and prices. We do everything to ensure all our employees receive equal high-quality healthcare. Outside our offices, we decide which hospitals and clinics we work with and regularly change them when we feel there are better options. We also work with several specialized clinics. For example, in Monterrey we now work with a clinic that is focused specifically on cancer.  
Q: What are Banorte Salud’s core strategies to improve employee health?
A: The central component of this health network is called Vive Sano, Vive Banorte. This is a tool that allows employees and their family members to keep track of their health status. We have our own doctors who can perform screenings at regular intervals. We also have nutritionists and physiotherapists who provide personalized treatment. All these services are at no extra cost. The goal is to generate changes in lifestyle and habits that will have a positive impact on health over the long term. To complement this program, we are also installing gyms at our offices that employees can use six days a week at a reduced rate.
Q: How has Banorte Salud impacted Banorte’s workforce?
A: This is a long-term project and it is hard to measure its immediate effects, unlike a change in benefits such as a salary increase. Having good health, however, is ultimately worth much more. We want the people at Banorte to feel that we care for them. This generates a sense of belonging, which indirectly attracts new talent and boosts retention. Having access to healthcare also reduces stress among employees, hopefully making them happier to work for us.
Q: What are Banorte Salud’s goals for 2019 and 2020?
A: Qualitatively, we want to provide our health program to all employees across the country. Of course, this introduces logistical challenges. In very remote places, it can take a person two hours to get to the nearest facility for a consultation. In these cases, we are looking at providing telemedicine services.
As people begin to live a healthier lifestyle, we hope to see less sickness. We have quantitative indicators that show how much our health services are used. These include things such as number of visits and number of hospitalizations. Our goal is to bring these indicators down over the next couple of years. This could also be translated into economic indicators, by seeing how much a person produced before and after being part of the program.
Over the longer term, having a program that can track people’s health and provide them with continuous guidance will no doubt lead to less costly healthcare as serious conditions are avoided. In the end, we will have healthier employees at a lower cost for the company. Of course, we also need to take into account inflation in medicine prices over the years. Financing good healthcare at a reasonable price will continue to be a challenge.