Michael HAAS: When it comes to difficult moments in one's life, and particularly when it has to do with health and serious medical conditions, the person's immediate reaction is to seek comfort amidst members of their inner family circle and close friends. Their recommendations on getting a second opinion to confirm the initial diagnosis, while heartfelt, typically lack medical knowledge and expertise, often leading to a delay in treatment. Our new product provides patients with medical expertise in such critical moments, offering them a Medical Second Opinion (MSO) by world leading medical facilities.
Tinatin KOBERIDZE: This is important because, as in many emerging markets, cancer prevention diagnostics in Georgia is problematic, with an estimated 10-15% of cases misdiagnosed. The financing of modern methods of treatment is also an issue. Although the screening of the several types of cancer is free of charge for the population, the uptake of this service in Georgia is three times lower than in Europe. Low levels of awareness, stigma and fear of diagnosis are but some of the factors that contribute to low uptake. State financed health care in Georgia covers mostly the in-patience service and only partly finances out-patience services. Therefore, private health insurance is the most popular line of insurance. State oncology programs in Georgia partly cover the costs of treatment and very scarcely fund modern methods of treatment, for instance, monoclonal antibodies and other treatments alike. Since the overall quality of medical services in the country is low compared to other developed countries, patients try to seek medical assistance abroad in case of serious and life-threatening diagnoses. The majority of the population ends up deprived from this service, as all these expenses are paid out of the patient's own pocket. Therefore, there is a growing demand in the Georgian market for the services as MediGuide's Medical Second Opinion (MSO) and alike.
M.H.: The Cancer insurance provided by GPI Holding in cooperation with Swiss Re and MediGuide is a novel and attractive product in the market. And, what's of utmost importance, is that it's affordable. It provides coverage in case of cancer diagnosis and is a reliable source of financing even for modern treatments abroad. Coupled with the MSO coverage introduced last year, the product brings the added value of accessing international clinics and network of doctors. Before crossing international borders for medical treatment, all pre-treatment procedures, including MSO, take place in the home country of the insured. A MediGuide MSO means that a team of experts (or an expert physician) from a global network of world leading medical centers, reviews the insured's medical information. These centers are known for their medical research, advanced treatments, and quality of clinical outcomes.
Impact of Medical Second Opinion and KPIs
|Average Turnaround time (days)||9.6||8.8||6.6||7.3|
|Net Promoter Score||97%||99%||99%||100%|
* Percentage of cases for which MSO resulted in 1) change of diagnosis, 2) change of treatment plan; or c) avoided surgery.
** High incidence of Covid-19 cases impacted the treatment of cancer patients.
XPRIMM: In cooperation with the insurer GPIH and the service provider MediGuide you have now developed a new solution for Georgia. What's the benefit of this solution for cancer patients?
M.H.: The medical second opinion service is provided to GPIH' clients by the international company MediGuide, in partnership with the Curatio Clinic. It is automatically included in GPIH cancer products and health insurance packages. Each market has its own specific needs. For instance, our product in Georgia, and particularly the MSO, also offers the client the opportunity to choose treatment in neighboring Turkey. Usually, we sit and discuss with our partnering company, in this case GPIH, the product design. We leverage their market knowledge to come up with a product that best fulfills market-specific needs and expectations.
T.K.: Our product provides for a payout in case of cancer diagnosis and is a reliable source of financing even for modern treatments abroad. Coupled with the MSO coverage introduced last year, the product brings the added value of accessing international clinics and network of doctors.
XPRIMM: What's next? Will you develop your cancer product in other markets, too? Or will you enrich the existing product to further penetrate existing markets. What kind of opportunities do you see?
M.H.: Cancer insurance helps ease the financial burden in such critical moments. We see that these products are in high demand, particularly in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) to a large extent due to the conditions of their medical systems. However, even in developed countries like Germany, such products are becoming popular as they also help patients to seize the diagnosis as gently as possible. We see opportunities arising from a collaboration with service providers to create added-value to the end-consumer and help them during challenging times.
As a complement to the Medical Second Opinion, we also cover Medical Treatment Abroad, which can provide the option of treatment in a medical facility where this type of cancer can be best treated. That is a different product, but we also provide such products to our clients.
Another growing need in many markets is to make Cancer covers more affordable for the elderly. We have developed a product concept named "Whole of Life" that makes products more attractive and affordable. This product covers all forms of invasive cancer and Medical Second Opinion may also be included as an additional service.
XPRIMM: Who are the perfect partners for developing such a product?
M.H.: Fighting cancer is challenging and that is why commitment from all parties is the key to success. The type of commitment needed from each partner differs - for instance, our local insurance partner would take ownership for taking the product to market and to promote it to the end consumer. Our partner MediGuide will provide the best Medical Second Opinion and advise clients where they can get the best care for their condition. Swiss Re takes ownership for the product development in accordance with market expectations as defined by our local insurance partner. Undoubtedly, serious diseases need serious approach and commitment.