Friday, January 9, 2015

Fully integrated medical offering - The interface between public and private


The challenge I've experienced, as have many people I've interacted with on the subject of healthcare, is the lack of dialog and control over health issues when interfacing with the medical system as it is typically encountered. General Practitioners are paid by the visit, they are busy people, they have a large clientele they need to process and they have a very narrow field of endeavour, illness. It is my interest to address this deficiency of service by designing a business model that offers the full panoply of medical thought and service under a single roof.

Imagine if you will a “health mall”, a place where all medical services are present in commensurate proportion to market and typical interdependence. As you enter the foyer of the “retail” facility the first things that greet your eye are the merchandised products ranging from nutraceuticals to running shoes and health food. On the second floor, perhaps a visible veranda, there will be  GP’s, Specialists, Naturopathic Dr., Dietitians - an in house lab with “retail” medical testing, PSA, nutrient testing - imaging facilities and retail access to standardized imaging testing - chelation clinic - medical services brokerage … etc. ...

Presently, doctors are constrained as to the breath of testing they can to do, that is to say they require an illness justification for medical testing. Medical testing for nutritional information is limited if it is existent at all in our system at large, by commercializing the offering for retail testing; the development of sufficient market volume will take place to reduce the price of “non-medical” testing to the point of “ready accessibility”. I believe this concept will carry to other aspects of the business, for example, imaging. This thought is supported by the typical occurrence in business that has a given asset able to offer a better value offering due to a high volume of usage.

There are opportunities as well to compete with free by making a better and  more convenient offering for services offered by the government system. By way of example, there are breast imaging technologies that are, by a considerable margin, more effective and less disruptive than the government offering. It is conceivable that the imaging could be offered for as little as $150.00 - for many busy women the superior offering, better treatment and better outcomes would offer great value. Presently an MRI at a private clinic is $1500, by introducing baseline MRI imaging and bolstering the optimal use of assets, perhaps that number could be reduced to under $500; the key here is full optimization of assets and the full exploitation of volume.  

There are executive medical care offerings in larger centers that take a completely holistic approach to management of care, health assessment, nutrition, exercise programing and illness care. The health mall concept takes this approach and melds it with, retail opportunities and government supported services - bringing larger volume to the offerings, generating this superior product at a price where upper middle and upper income brackets can access personalized care.  

A customer would begin their interface with this service by going through an induction process. Pricing would be offered as an all-inclusive health package or a la carte, depending on preference. Upon choosing to initiate association with the health mall, the customer would be brought into an induction process which would have a “complete” health assessment as the primary component. Induction would be administered by a health practitioner who would hit on all the “typical” health markers; body mass index, blood pressure, basic dietary information, general activity profile etc. ... The customer would then be exposed to a standard bank of medical / health testing, perhaps - blood platelet profiles, nutritionally related blood testing, heavy metal testing, screening for common disorders. Imaging would be performed in relation to any specific complaints as well as baseline imagining for future reference. At this point a generalised health profile is developed listing findings, risks, opportunities and any chronic disorders. The nurse practitioner, based on initial findings would then assemble an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals specific to the needs of this individual, they and the customer would meet and a health plan would be developed. From there the customer would interface with the facility at large to execute on the plan.

The goal here is, through systemization of a personalized offering to a broad market, to offer a superior and complete proposition. It may be that through the course of business plan development a franchise structure emerges as optimal, so as to facilitate centers of excellence and to centralize activities best suited to specialized facilities, for example, bulk processing of standard blood testing. Regardless of how it is achieved, people want a means by which to have control over their health, people are more cognizant than ever of health and prevention, people want the full panoply of health treatment and people need convenience and value.  

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time engaging health related industry to find a means to provide the aforementioned imperatives to the public; the present interface with the illness system is awkward, public, fragmented, paternalistic and fails at health and prevention - I believe I can develop a superior offering that consolidates the entire health challenge under one roof at a price point that is comparable to the present aggregated expenditure on health of most middle and upper income people.  

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