Medical technology start-up Medpay is planning to partner with multiple healthcare insurers to enable “cashless OPD” for the policyholders.
Cashless OPDs is a newer concept gradually gaining grounds in Indian healthcare sector. It gives the individual the convenience of opting for cashless payments for outpatient expenses, like medicines, lab tests, doctor consultations, etc.
“We have signed up with Edelweiss General Insurance. We are actively talking to new age insurers such as Go Digit and Acko. General insurance company ICICI Lombard last year partnered with MedPay for cashless OPD services,” said Ravi Chandra, co-founder and CEO, Medpay.
“Health awareness has increased amongst patients, providers started adopting technology and payers started piloting various health plans covering OPD benefits with cashless experience,” said Chandra, adding that the need of the hour is to organise the OPD segment and ensure that payers, providers, and patients have easy access to this network.
In India, OPD services are historically the most fragmented within the healthcare ecosystem. This is even though OPD services account for nearly 70 per cent of India’s $370 billion in healthcare spending according to the government data.
“Such distribution with no visibility of facilities like diagnostics, pharmacies, and small hospitals among others creates a lot of problems for patients. Especially, patients from rural regions have to struggle the most for both correct information and access,” he said, adding that India needs to connect the primary healthcare centres, pharmacies and diagnostic labs with the cashless insurance network in order to bring them into the digital economy.
Currently, Medpay’s Connected Care Network (CCN) has more than 60,000 outpatient centres spread across over 500 cities and 20 healthcare platforms.
“We have built an additional technology infrastructure layer on top of our CCN that allows various stakeholders to discover OPD services as per their convenience and usage. This is a win-win proposition for healthcare platforms and insurers, who can access 60,000 stand-alone service providers on Medpay’s network,” said Chandra.
Over the last two years, the start-up has been seeing a huge demand from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, with more than 65 per cent of the company’s orders coming from non-metros.
“Earlier, the wait for online medicine delivery was 4-5 days for consumers in these markets. Also, it was not easy to find a trusted doctor or diagnostic centre online. As Medpay continues to tap into this emerging segment of digital users, we are not only providing them with seamless hyperlocal services, but also augmenting the repeat rate for our partner platforms. The opportunities for growth in the current scenario are huge,” he said.
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