Speciality clinics looking to healthtech startups for IT upgrades

This article was first published in the Times of India.

CHENNAI: Hospital chains like the Apollo Group, Manipal, Columbia Asia and Fortiswere among the first in India to invest heavily in IT. Joining their ilk are speciality clinics like Vasan Eyecare, Davita, Narayana Health, HCG and Agwaral Eye Clinic, which now taking to the IT highway and upgrading to ICD10 code compliance, payment-facilitating web portals, creating mobile apps, maintaining electronic health records and booking doctors’ appointments.

Startups like Remedinet, S10 Healthcare, Medi Assist are coming to the rescue of such speciality clinics for cancer, cardiac, dental and eye care. Medi Assist, which recently invested $1 million in Goa-based mobile fitness venture MobieFit, has come up with MediBuddy, a mobile app for hospitals and specialty clinics. The mobile app allows policyholders to raise and track claims, plan an e-cashless hospitalization, search networked/empanelled hospitals, book wellness services, buy drugs and maintain electronic health records. “We also have e-cashless, which helps users book cashless admission at a network hospital using their smartphones. You can choose the room type, get an idea as to projected bill, cost of treatment, and cut out waiting time for hospital admission,” said Prashant Jhaveri, head, products and strategy, Medi Assist Healthcare Services, which also has a MediBuddy web portal for access to health benefits.

At S10 Healthcare, which has more than 50 plus customers in Chennai including names like Rajan Dental, Uma Eye clinic and GBR Fertility, end-to-end IT solutions are offered. From ICD10 coding to appointment bookings to boosting their social media presence, everything spelt “digital” is taken care of.

“We have a S10 mobile app for customers using which they can login, search for hospitals, clinics, feasible appointment timings and maintain, docket their online health records. With speciality clinics also wanting to go cashless, they need to upgrade to ICD10 for them to be accepted by insurance companies and third-party administrators (TPAs),” said Sridharan Sivan, founder, S10 Healthcare.
Most speciality clinics are still manually filing claims, which would mean 15-30 working days, before patients/policyholders get back their money. “Going for cashless claims, would improve user experience for patients. Niche clinics, catering to kidney, heart, cancer and other specialities find it easier to hire IT vendors than to set up a separate IT wing and hire developers themselves,” said Sivan.

Bengaluru-based Remedinet, which is a pureplay health technology company, deals only with coding and claims settlement for hospitals. Numbering Continental Hospitals, Manipal Group, Ruby Hall Clinic as clients, Remedinet also works with government health schemes to provide transparency and reduce manipulation of data.
In India, doctors are not trained on medical coding as part of their syllabus unlike in the US. “So there is this deficit between the knowledge pool hospitals have and what insurance companies expect. Given the IRDAI’s push for ICD10 coding, hospitals have increasingly become professional and seek the help of healthtech companies like ours to comply with industry norms,” said Munish Daga, CEO, Remedinet.



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