Tailored In-House Corporate InsuranceSat, 09/05/2015 - 20:24
Q: What is the story behind the creation of Vitamédica? What is Vitamédica’s main role in the healthcare sector?
A: Vitamédica was created through the merger of two healthcare services administrators: Meximed and Vitamédica. It was created to address the previously unsatisfied need to provide health services to the employees of two banks. Vitamédica is a unique organization in the healthcare sector of Mexico due to its service philosophy, excellence, coverage, and a win-win negotiation scheme. We are backed by more than 20 years of experience and we currently have four business lines: Products and Insurance, Reversion Banks, Assistance, and Business and Preventive Health. These were designed for the creation and administration of medical service networks. We mainly provide service to banks, insurance companies, and corporations. Some examples of our services are compensation processes and the administration of medical services from the first level of attention to hospitalization, which are provided through a network of more than 10,000 suppliers, more than 6,500 doctors, hospital services, and pharmaceutical services with more than 6,800 points of sale on more than 600 locations on the whole country. We work mainly by providing health services required by companies to their employees, but we also work with companies that are interested in improving their employees’ quality of life. We do not generate insurance policies, we only administer them.
Q: What do chronic degenerative diseases represent for the healthcare sector and how does Vitamédica address them?
A: The need for medical services is rising, which is accompanied by an increase in the number of healthcare policies and insurance. On the other hand, the price of medical services has also risen as a byproduct of the increasing prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases which are starting to become a large burden on Mexico’s healthcare system. We believe this problem is of great importance so we are gradually focusing on prevention programs. We have initiatives aimed at individuals who are at early stages of the disease, as well as preventive measures for those who are healthy. The goal is to promote healthy habits to avoid the incidence of acute cardiac events that require immediate hospital attention. Our strategy is to begin with high-risk individuals and then focus on healthier people to help them eliminate unhealthy habits such as lack of exercise, a poor diet, and high levels of stress. We also want to help them identify specific genetic factors that potentially increase the risk of developing certain diseases. Chronic diseases require an integral management, so we are creating more and more specific programs to provide these prevention and diagnosis services.
Q: How does Vitamédica choose its suppliers?
A: We have a series of stringent requirements in place for suppliers, doctors, clinics, and hospitals. For instance, we ask doctors to be able to prove their medical qualifications and we ensure that they are accredited by the council in their specific specialties. Vitamédica ensures that all clinics and hospitals have the necessary operational and sanitary permits. To facilitate access to medications for patients who are located in rural communities where there are no pharmacy chains we are currently working with approximately 150 and 200 independent pharmacies. It is common for rural areas to have few medical services, thus it is sometimes necessary to relocate complex cases to areas with better resources. In some cases it has even been necessary to move patients to the areas of the country with a high concentration of medical facilities, like Mexico City.
Q: What are your priorities for 2015?
A: We are focusing on improving the service we are providing to our current customer base rather than looking for more clients. We will also begin to implement two different business lines focused on contained measures to create a more effective system for available services, and on the development of prevention strategies with a specific focus on diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome since they are the fastest growing diseases on the Mexican population. We are trying to develop prevention strategies which will allow better management of resources to simplify access to specific services. This is important as our country does not have the necessary doctors and specialists available in every area, so it will be necessary to widen our network in order to facilitate access to medical professionals.