Mumbai: The Information era is here to stay and it has transformed many industries. Starting with categories such as mobile phones and hospitality, today segments including furniture and real estate have acceded to the information and e-commerce age. Finding intricate product details, comparing services, gaining from user reviews – all this has become possible thanks to the internet. However, there are some segments where information remains inaccessible or restricted to a select few. Healthcare is one of them. If you or your near ones have been hospitalized in the recent past, you would have definitely faced some of these questions:
• Which is the right hospital, say for a knee replacement or cardiac surgery?
• What is the right cost of treatment for a particular ailment? How do I know what is the cost breakup before getting admitted – for the operation, hospital stay, medicines etc.?
• How do I decide between two ‘good’ hospitals in my area for a planned surgery?
• Why can’t I benefit from actual experience of other patients regarding a hospital?
Indian consumers continue to decide on a healthcare provider on the basis of their doctor’s advice or word of mouth. To address this need gap, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, one of the leading private sector general insurance company, has launched a first of its kind initiative in India to enable consumers to take informed decisions before choosing a healthcare provider or treatment.
ICICI Lombard Healthcare Advisor is a unique, web enabled platform that allows consumers to get answers to critical questions pertaining to healthcare providers and treatment beforehand. It empowers consumers to plan their health treatment better, equipped with the necessary information. The insurer has created a hospital and consumer feedback based rating mechanism wherein consumers can get treatment related details and gain from actual experience from patients for over 1,000 hospitals across primary, secondary and tertiary segments. The insurance company has made this possible by sourcing feedback and over 10,000 ratings from customers who had availed treatment at these hospitals.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Bhargav Dasgupta, MD & CEO, ICICI Lombard General Insurance said: “At ICICI Lombard, it is our endeavour to deliver on our promise of providing end to end support to our customers during their time of need. To help our customers take informed decisions, we have taken the initiative to build a comprehensive information and ratings framework through the Health Advisor platform. For this, we have harnessed our access to healthcare providers and collated feedback from a large set of customers to build a robust platform.”
ICICI Lombard Healthcare Advisor is an open access platform that can be availed by consumers through an exclusive website: www.healthadvisor.icicilombard.com. Any individual can gain access to critical information and queries pertaining to healthcare treatment and hospitals, including:
• Compare cost of treatment for a particular ailment among hospitals.
• Compare quality of care for a particular ailment among hospitals.
• Compare hospitals on the basis of infrastructure, room and procedure costs.
• Seek customer feedback and ratings on hospitals with authentication.
• Seek help in terms of obtaining appointments at the hospital of their choice.
ICICI Lombard Health Advisor provides information on more than 30 treatment procedures, which have been selected on the basis of incidence rate. The procedures include removal of appendix, hernia, piles etc. It also provides information on bypass surgery, cataract operation, knee replacement surgery etc.
To ensure robustness of the platform, ICICI Lombard has partnered with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to identify quality indicators to compare healthcare providers in the Indian context. Starting with a comprehensive list of more than 5000 parameters, TISS and ICICI Lombard arrived at a set of 20 indicators that were relevant in an Indian context, comprehensive and easy to capture across hospitals.
The insurance company will continue to add ratings to its customer repository and expand the current base of 1000 hospitals in the coming months.
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