#India- Pay for surgeries, costly treatment with EMIs soon #healthcare


Finance

Mar 4, 2013, TNN[ Rupali Mukherjee ]

Globally, patient financing companies like Springstone and Medicard bear the cost of a patient’s treatment including surgeries, procedures and even pharma prescriptions, ranging from $2,000 to $40,000.
MUMBAI: Soon you will be able to finance the purchase of prescription medication. With healthcare costs going through the roof and exorbitantly-priced medicines making treatment inaccessible for many, companies are trying to reach out to patients and provide options of convenient monthly payments.

These companies include patient financing start-ups which will provide options so patients don’t delay expensive treatments and have access to medication through a customised repayment plan — an affordable alternative to personal loans and credit cards.

Globally, patient financing companies like Springstone and Medicard bear the cost of a patient’s treatment including surgeries, procedures and even pharma prescriptions, ranging from $2,000 to $40,000. Healthcare financing start-up Mya Health Credit will soon offer loans to patients for financing prescriptions.

Mya Health Credit’s founder Manish Menda says, “we are in talks with domestic pharma companies and will soon be rolling out the financing of pharma prescriptions over Rs 75,000 for a tenure of 12, 18 or 24 months. We will also offer financing of medical devices—used by the consumer, like hearing aids or pacemakers as their costs add up to over a lakh or so.”

Though the company is still working out the finer details, it has tied-up with Tata Finance which will provide ‘loans’ for purchasing medicines after appropriate verification checks. Hitesh Gajaria, partner KPMG, said: “This is a way of deepening the market and increasing accessibility by offering customised loans for healthcare. Patient financing is a niche area and India is a huge unserved market.”

The pay-as-you-go approach is a great model for countries like India where there is no reimbursement system and expenditure on health is largely out-of-pocket, industry experts say. In US, pharma expenses are about 8-15% of total healthcare cost while in India it may go as high as 60% in therapies. Pharma company Biogen Idec offers two critical medicines, meant for multiple sclerosis patients at half the cost, and is exploring finance options through a public-private partnership where it can part-finance the treatment, says the company’s MD Sameer Savkur.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Hyderabad Twin Blast: Police Arrest one suspect in Ranchi | People's Union for Civil Liberties
  2. rahul
    Mar 30, 2013 @ 13:28:47

    Providing financing is reactionary. patients may need finance coz the cost of healthcare is high. What if there’s a mechanism to bring down the cost of patient’s treatment…Wont that be a more effective way to tackle the problem? On one side we complain cost of treatment is high, on the other side we refuse to look out for quality and cost-effective hospitals around us. One need to agree that for any treatment there are more than one better hospitals where treatment can be taken. But since patients refuse to make this choice, they end up paying more. The reason patients dont make choice is because, its inconvenient to visit multiple hospitals and check treatment rates. Such info is not readily available. But teh things are gonna change now. There are new services that are coming to find how much will it cost for a treatment across various hospitals, so that patients can make a choice about the right hospital to seek a treatment. Couple of such options are – medeel.com, healthps.com. through their services, patients can find out how much will it cost them to get treated across quality hospitals. Once such a process gets well entrenched into the system, we may not require financing in many cases.

    Reply

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