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Revolutionizing Health Insurance: Taking Health Insurance Beyond Hospital Boundaries

Home healthcare service providers rely on the most current technology to deliver their services efficiently and economically. Hence, all the activities related to patient care are recorded in the system, leave a trail and can be audited at any point of time

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The healthcare scenario is rapidly changing in India. With the advancement of technology, healthcare is reaching the doorstep of patient’s home. Many general and highly specialized services which were synonymous with a specialized health center are now being provided to the patient within the comfort of his home. Today, specialized procedures like post-operative care, critical care & chemotherapy along with IV therapy & injection, wound dressing, injection administration, catheterization, physiotherapy etc. are being done inside a patient’s home using highly portable & specialized instruments.

Home healthcare service providers rely on the most current technology to deliver their services efficiently and economically. Hence, all the activities related to patient care are recorded in the system, leave a trail and can be audited at any point of time. While the medical home care industry is advancing leaps and bounds with an increasing number of patients opting for it, the homecare health industry and its patrons face a major challenge when it comes to insurance coverage. There are many out of hospital medical expenses which form an integral part of care delivery to the patient. Today, health insurance companies cover pre- and post-hospitalization expenses of a patient who has undergone a treatment. But these expenses are covered largely when such treatment is done inside a clinic or a hospital but not at home. 

Providing home healthcare reimbursements or cashless facilities would definitely make the life of the patient & family members easier. With current work pressure and style of living in nuclear families, patients often adopt home healthcare facilities for themselves and their family members. This convenience of the patient to receive quality medical treatment in the comfort of their homes ensures mental peace and a speedy recovery. There is a significant reduction in hospital-acquired infections, which is one of the major causes of prolonged hospital stay and re-admission. The patient also gains by a reduction in travel cost and other non-medical expenditures involved in visiting hospitals and health centers. For the working professionals, a loss in productivity is consequently prevented. This could also prove to be a differentiator for health insurers in a highly fragmented health insurance industry in India.

With the growing need for insurance coverage of healthcare delivery at home, a health insurer can capitalize on this opportunity to quickly grow and retain its policyholders by including these services. As an additional step, they can provide home healthcare as a separate or add-on service at a premium to differentiate their offerings. The way they tie up with hospitals and health centers, they can tie up with home healthcare service providers of repute too, like HealthCare atHome.

The convergence of health insurance and home healthcare will ensure holistic support to the patient including his pre- and post-hospitalization needs. This will pave the path for growth of home healthcare, the opportunity for product differentiation for the insurance industry and pocket-friendly & compassionate medical care for patients. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Ashish Kumar

The author is a cost accountant, MBA in Finance and Fellow of Life Management Institute, USA. He is currently SVP and Head of Institutional Business at HealthCare atHOME . He has 25 years’ experience of working in financial services, life insurance, health insurance and healthcare sector.

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