The Great Indian Health Insurance Revolution
India is at the precipice of a global healthcare revolution with implementation of the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme which aims to provide a health insurance cover of INR 5 lakhs to approximately 50 crore people for tertiary care.
With implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, it is envisioned that the burden on hospitals will increase. Home healthcare presents itself as an immediate and effective solution to manage the expected rise in pressure on India’s medical infrastructure. Home healthcare is fast becoming an integral part of the Indian healthcare industry. The key driving factors are increase in geriatric population, rise in chronic lifestyle diseases, increasing trend of nuclear family system and most importantly, shortage of hospital beds and doctors.
But even with a CAGR of ~18 percent(as per Cyber Media Research’s report), home healthcare industry in India is yet to achieve its potential growth. This is largely because India’s home healthcare market is mostly unorganized and unregulated. The organized home healthcare sector, led by leaders like HealthCare at HOME, has grown leaps and bounds with advancement in technology with advance procedures like chemotherapy or set ups like ICU now possible at patient homes. Quality players in home healthcare industry rely on latest technology to provide their services cost effectively and efficiently. Therefore, all services and activities related to patient’s care are duly documented digitally and can be audited at any time making them reliable. But want of regulation and standardization has still kept home healthcare solutions largely out of ambit of health insurance cover and hence, out of reach for many families.
With benefits to hospitals, patients and insurance providers, home healthcare industry will lead a breakthrough in the Indian healthcare industry
One such example is that of Magma HDI. Through its OneHealth insurance scheme, Magma HDI has taken a revolutionary step in the health insurance domain. Magma HDI has partnered with HealthCare at HOME (HCAH) to provide insurance cover for few home healthcare services provided by HCAH. A few insurance companies have started extending cover for certain day care treatments and OPD procedures like chemotherapy at home. ICICI Lombard covers few home care treatments under OPD such as physiotherapy, consultation and diagnostics. Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance offers discounts to policy holders who avail services of some home care service providers with whom the company has tie-ups.SBI General Health Insurance covers under home healthcare which includes parental care (attendant nursing charge to take care of your parents who are above 60 years of age); childcare (attendant escort charges to take care of your child below 10 years of age) and Convalescence benefit (which is available for insured above 10 years and below 60 years).
This indicates that there is indeed a big surge in interest of health insurance players in the home care sector. Standardization and regulation will ensure that many more insurance companies will hit the ground running to cover home healthcare in their health insurance cover.
Quality and Accreditation Institute of India (QAI) has already introduced standardization for the home healthcare industry in India which will allow patients looking for home healthcare options to choose from credible player accredited by a body of renown and respect. HealthCare atHOME was the chair of the technical committee of QAI for drafting home healthcare accreditation standards. The standards rely on measurable criteria to ensure proper governance, competent human resources, adequate facility, appropriate information management, quality improvement opportunities and safe practices. With standardization, health insurance agencies are bound to revise their policies to include home healthcare in a bigger way in health insurance cover, thus, making home healthcare solutions more affordable for patients and their families.
With benefits to hospitals, patients and insurance providers, home healthcare industry will lead a breakthrough in the Indian healthcare industry be reducing health related economic burden on the patient and country at large.