Lowered operation cost achieved through telemedicine
The telemedicine market is expected to reach $141 billion this year.
Telemedicine is improving healthcare delivery, reducing operational costs, and impacting health insurance expenses, following its projected growth of $141 billion this year, according to Sunway Healthcare Group.
Chelsea Cheng, Group Finance Director, said that the adoption of telemedicine has allowed healthcare providers to better utilise manpower and hospital resources.
"Post-pandemic, telemedicine continues to play a significant role," Cheng said, "This significantly reduces congestion in healthcare facilities and enables prioritise patient care."
She mentioned that the efficiency gained through telemedicine not only aids healthcare providers in lowering their operational costs but also benefits insurance providers and patients by reducing the cost of healthcare services in the long run.
Addressing the balance between innovative treatment and affordability, Cheng noted the challenges posed by rapid advancements in healthcare technology, such as robotic-assisted surgery. Regulatory caps on healthcare fees necessitate collaboration with insurance companies to ensure patient coverage is adequate.
"We are looking at value-based pricing, or rather an outcome-based payment scheme, to drive better adoption of medical technology," Cheng cited, highlighting the need for healthcare providers to work closely with vendors and pharmaceutical companies to promote innovation.
Looking towards the future of healthcare financing, Cheng emphasised the shift towards value-based pricing over fee-for-service models. "This shift is imperative given the advancements and innovations in the market, such as precision medicine and genetic-based therapies," she stated.
The integration of digital health and wearables, driving better analytics for insurance providers, is predicted to lower insurance costs, allowing for better pricing of policies and schemes.
Moreover, Cheng pointed out that a multi-channel approach in financing healthcare costs is required, and suggested a combination of insurance, co-payments by patients, retirement savings schemes, employer-sponsored arrangements, and a holistic national insurance scheme.
Innovation in healthcare financing also holds promise, with potential moves towards a subscription-based model and digital financing channels offering "care now, pay later" programs. These innovative approaches could redefine how healthcare services are financed and accessed by patients.