February 2017

HealthCare At Home: Breaking Myths, Bridging Gaps

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Vivek Srivastava
CEO & Co-founder, HCAH

As a leading home healthcare services provider in India, HealthCare At HOME (HCAH) sees Indian patients opening up to the idea of getting treatment from the comfort of their homes. Vivek Srivastava, CEO & Co-founder, HCAH, in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN) shares how his companys cost effective services are bridging the big gap in the Indian healthcare sector by reducing huge pressure on the hospital infrastructure.

Where did the idea of Health- Care At Home come from? How do you ensure the cost-effectiveness of your services?

At HCAH, we know how important it is to be by the side of your loved ones especially when they are not having good health. Patients are most comfortable in a familiar environment and do not prefer to move from place to place for treatment. This thought, compounded by poor healthcare infrastructure in India, made the promoters of Dabur, the Burman family and founders of HAH UK, to conceptualise HCAH.

Through homecare we use the existing capacity in patient homes to take care of this huge gap in Indian healthcare, immediately and cost effectively. By shifting load off the hospitals, we can offload the doctors, allowing them to treat more sick patients. India has already leapfrogged technologies in the past and hence this can also follow the same pattern.

The home healthcare services cover around 70 per cent of all healthcare requirements of a consumer and extend to management of lifestyle and chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc. over consumers lifetime. Its advantages include cost effectiveness with excellent clinical outcomes as customers end up saving 10-50 per cent costs as compared to regular hospital treatment depending upon the services taken.

How do you see the scope of home healthcare evolving in India? What is its current market size?

The overall Indian healthcare market today is worth `6.7 lakh crore and is expected to grow to `18.7 lakh crore by 2020 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 22.9 per cent. Globally, home healthcare segment comprises 3-6 per cent of the healthcare market, and on extrapolating Indian home healthcare market can reach `10 lakh crore by 2020.

As per World Health Statistics (2015), India needs to add at least 6,50,000 beds by 2017, requiring a capital investment of `1.6 lakh crores. Home healthcare can help bridge this gap, reducing the pressure on the hospital infrastructure, ensuring smooth transition from hospital to home, reducing chances of re-admissions, giving quality healthcare in Tier I and Tier II cities and reducing treatment cost.

We believe, in the near future, the health industry will align its services and offerings with the concept of home-based healthcare. Big corporate houses have already started to realise the importance of home-based healthcare. This will help in setting up a robust healthcare infrastructure across India where patients get adequate beds and care.

What is the reach of HCAH in India?

We have served over 300,000 patients across India by our presence in more than 40 cities including major cities like Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur etc. We will soon have presence in southern cities, including Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

Please tell us about key operational and other challenges faced by the company and how do you plan to overcome them?

One of the major challenges we face stems primarily from the view of healthcare sector among Indians. People find this hard to believe that high-end home healthcare services are possible. They feel that they can get good services only through admittance in hospitals. We attempt to break this myth by showing evidence and experiences of existing consumers. By far we have done more than 1,000 chemotherapies/immunotherapies at home and have looked after more than 300,000 patients and that too with a high customer satisfaction rate (NPS>70%) since 2012. We have a repeat rate of more than 50 per cent which is testament to the fact that people who take this service really find it worthwhile to continue

Also, healthcare industry is facing a crunch of not just doctors but also qualified and trained paramedics. HCAH has overcome this problem by investing in people. Not only have we upskilled the medical professional through training on simulation models, but we have also trained people with non-medical background. Depending on the skill set exhibited they are trained to either nursing attendant or a phlebotomist or an ECG technician. This eases out the work pressure on nurses, helping them to focus on more patients.

Another major challenge is that several hospitals are reluctant to give a try to the concept of home healthcare. They mistake us for a competitor instead of viewing us as an extension of their services. We try to partner with such hospitals explaining them our role to help them widen the reach of doctors and physicians, by vacating the beds occupied by bedridden since a long time. Through meetings and seminars, we explain how we help in increasing the horizons of treatment for patients who need immediate medical intervention, as we free up both their resources and trained staff.

What are the key services offered by you? What quality parameters have been set by you to ensure credibility?

There are different set of services we offer: ProCare atHOME, MedCare atHOME, LifeCare atHOME and add on services.

Our ProCare atHOME services include basic offerings like physiotherapy, healthcare attendants and everyday healthcare management (like injection administration, wound dressing etc.); MedCare atHOME services include medical procedures and prescription led services like home cancer care, ICU atHOME, post-surgical care etc.; LifeCare atHOME services include management of lifestyle changes, chronic diseases and wellness segment such as elderly care, diabetes management and mother & child care programme. Our addon services include pathology tests, medical equipment rentals and purchase, medicine delivery at home, etc.

We have a B2B segment which works with pharmaceutical companies, insurance houses, corporates, and hospitals. We partner with pharmaceuticals to provide services covering the patient journey starting from disease awareness to disease detection, treatment initiation, drug distribution, disease management, compliance management and showcasing clinical outcomes. We have done patient support programmes, patient assistance programmes and direct delivery of drugs in association with pharmaceutical companies.

With insurance companies, we would in pre and post-policy checks. Some of our services are getting cashless approved by insurance companies. Our quality parameters include personalised care by competent professionals guided by customised care plan prescribed by patients doctor; quicker patient recovery; and professional protocol-led healthcare.

As customer experience is concerned, we are backed by NPS of over 70% (Net promoter score, an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research, correlated with revenue growth). Some of the well-known organizations with NPS are Apple (75%) and Amazon (70%).

We follow highest quality and clinical standards, benchmarked against those of Care Quality Commission (CQC), an independent regulator of health and social care in the UK.

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