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Group insurance : health, virtual is it the solution ?

by

Denis Méthot

June 5, 2019 09:30

Daniel Martz | Photo : Denis Méthot

The indicators of coverage of health are almost always unfavourable to the quebec health system. In 2013, the percentage of patients who have had to wait five hours or more on the emergency was at 1 % the netherlands, 5 % in Australia, 9 % in France and 15 % in Ontario. It stood at 35 % in Quebec. In may 2018, more than 400 000 Quebecers were waiting to get a family doctor from the Window of access to a family doctor (GAMF).

The signs are hardly more encouraging in the private sector. The percentage of the coverage of medical care is in strong growth in group insurance programs paid by the employer. In 2012, this percentage varied between 3 % and 4 % in 2017, he had climbed between 5% and 7%, and in 2022, according to the firm Mercer. It is expected to be between 15 % and 25 %.

“We pay for the non-health people,” said Daniel Martz, ceo of the Montreal d’Equinox Lifescare, an organizer of specialized medical care at a distance which advocates a shift towards the virtual health.

During a conference he gave in Quebec in the framework of the congress Segic, Mr. Martz has talked about a revolution coming soon in the health field, but should be in a context of prevention.

A curative approach to a preventive approach

The guest speaker talked about the importance of a migration from a curative approach to a preventive approach. The first focuses on the strategies in healing, the return-to-work cases, the treatment of disability and disease and on the programmes of care collaborative. The preventive approach rather puts the emphasis on prevention, health programs and employee support, and telemedicine as an essential approach.

Research shows that companies that have implemented programs in health and productivity, he said, have withdrawn the following benefits : a reduction of the costs of medical, fewer absences, unplanned, fewer days of disability, lost, improved productivity and enhanced value for shareholders.

The virtual health and the patient

Daniel Martz has described a new approach, the virtual health, to enable people and employees covered by group insurance plans more quickly to a doctor or other resources. It is offered in the form of a virtual clinic, a bilingual, accessible online named EQ Care.

The solution is also intended for employers to help reduce absenteeism at work due to illness and improve the health of its employees in order to achieve a healthier workplace and more productive.

The mechanism of operation is the following :

1) The patient begins a visit via the internet, iPhone or Android at any time, 24 hours on 24, seven days a week ;

2) He was welcomed by the manager of code that evaluates the symptoms and proceeds to the yard ;

3) The patient consults the doctor virtually in a few minutes by means of a written correspondence ;

4) code operators to coordinate the next steps towards medical tests, referrals to specialists, prescriptions and follow-up of the patient.

Summary of services

Your place of work or your home, you can join in a private and secure a doctor online who can treat a variety of health problems at a distance, such as a cold, a fever, mental health problems, chronic problems or pediatric.

He also does requests for consultations with a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a pediatrician, a dermatologist, an orthopedist. According to the needs, the physician issues the prescription for the medications, the queries of electronic data analysis and references. It also ensures the support of care.

Additional services are also offered in the advice and management of the medication with protocols to assist in the compliance to treatment, information on therapeutic alternatives and substitutions generic. The delivery order is scheduled for the next day.

Benefits of the health care virtual

The benefits of health care are virtual many, has enumerated the chief executive officer of montreal-Equinox Lifescare : improving access to care and treatment, employee productivity, accessibility at any time, the improvement of the course of a patient’s health, reduction of disability and the reduction of absences at work

The return on investment would be important, he added. It reduces by four the incidence and duration of the casual absence, short-term disability and long-term. At the cost of the drugs, there has been a reduction of professional fees, it minimizes the margin, removes the cost of delivery and encourages the choice of the best treatment according to the parameters of the insurance plan.

This new approach improves the degree of satisfaction of the insured. It attracts and protects the best employees, we influence them, their well-being and that of their families and it reduces presenteeism, where the employee is only present in body only.

Integration of artificial intelligence in health

The virtual health is called to go much further with the integration of artificial intelligence and the use of algorithms to support decision-making in the field of mental health care for primary care, for the management of the disability and of specific protocols of care by specialty as well as the management of care. The future in this area, it is tomorrow.

Daniel Martz was raised in a very near future of technologies such as portable devices used in the technology of diagnostics at home, an assessment of the risks to mental health in real time using information of well-being integrated in the mobile applications, sampling, and medical testing at home and DNA profiling in the home to allow approaches to personalized medicine.

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