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JOHANNESBURG, 30 August 2020 – Medscheme, South Africa’s largest health risk management service provider, is accelerating its Alternative to Hospitalisation (ATH) strategy. The Hospital-Level Care at Home aims to provide care with good clinical quality, great patient experience and more affordable, from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic era and beyond.

“Research has shown the benefits of at-home care include better clinical outcomes, lower cost and an improved patient experience. In the weeks and months since the coronavirus outbreak began, the pandemic has shone a spotlight on programmes and initiatives relating to how we cater to the specific needs of the sick and highlighted the need to expand home-based strategies,” said Dr Lungi Nyathi, Medscheme’s Managing Executive: Clinical Risk and Advisory.

“With Hospital-Level Care at Home, nurses, other health providers and caregivers are an essential element of the care continuum and play a critical role in the response to viral spread and mortality, during these unprecedented times,” she said.

“Hospitals have advantages of operational efficiency, emanating from treating more people in one place, aggregated expertise for clinical excellence and a well-established system for patient care. However, hospitals are not the only environments for patient care and in some situations, not the most optimal,” said Dr Lungi Nyathi .

Dr Nyathi quoted a recent study conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA, which compared outcomes of at-home hospital care versus usual hospital care for patients requiring admission.

The researchers found that patients admitted in the home programme were less likely to return to the hospital within 30 days of their discharge and on average had 38% lower healthcare costs compared to those who were admitted in hospital.
“The mandate of Medscheme’s managed care division is to innovate around safe, reliable and affordable medical care services at the correct place and level of care, which sometimes is indeed outside the traditional hospital environment.”

Dr Nyathi said Medscheme is partnering with Quro Medical, an innovative South African digital health company, to provide patients with active treatment by healthcare practitioners in the patient’s home.

“The technology-enabled hospital-at-home service brings all the essential elements of in-hospital care to the patients’ home, without moving away from evidence-based protocols and state-of-the-art vital sign monitoring. Patients are monitored wirelessly, automatically and continuously to enable early identification of significant clinical change or deterioration.

“Thus, in addition to being an alternative to general ward admission for a select group of pateints, Quro Medical offers patients an opportunity for earlier and safer relocation to the home than would otherwise be possible,” said Dr Nyathi.

Medscheme looks after 3,7-million lives through administering 20 medical schemes including Bonitas, Fedhealth, GEMS, Polmed, Nedgroup, MBMed and 15 others.

Medscheme has played a pivotal role in assisting assist its schemes’ members throughout this period of lockdown and has assisted members to get accurate and up-to-date information around COVID-19, as well as focussed care especially for those at highest risk.

Kabelo Letebele
Senior Manager: Public Relations and Reputation Management
AfroCentric Health: Group Marketing and Corporate Affairs
Tel: +27 11 671 4247
Cell: +27 74 156 2262

Email: kabelol@afrocentrichealth.com


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