“Transparency In Pricing and Packaging Is The Way To Develop Trust In The Consumers”

Says, Madhur Varma, Chief Executive Officer, Sahyadri Hospitals. His expertise lies in the health sector and he brings with him experience of more than 17 years in the field.

Green Belt and Black Belt in Six Sigma, he has also been part of Strategic Leadership Program and Leadership Skills for Top Management from the Indian School of Business.

Before moving to Sahyadri Hospitals in May 2016, he served as the Vice President – Operations at Columbia Asia Hospitals for more than 6 years. He has been associated with Max Healthcare, Escorts Heart Institute & Research Center, IVEN Medicare, ICICI Venture and Medwin Hospitals in the last few years. Madhur Varma in an interaction with Ekta Srivastava, Health…

Will the trend toward hospital consolidation continue?

Though volume and pace of consolidation differs with large and small deals, partnerships among hospital providers, physician providers, and insurers will continue for the next few years. In India, the healthcare industry has witnessed consolidation at various levels which includes, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics space, multispecialty hospitals which are often backed with private equity firms.

What will happen to critical-access hospitals, particularly in rural areas?

Multi-speciality hospitals are the strength of Indian cities while critical-access hospitals serve rural areas. Critical access hospitals are vital and are the foundation of rural health care delivery systems. While residents of rural areas face barriers in assessing quality healthcare, successful acquisition of rural hospitals will change the landscape of the healthcare industry. Rural hospitals are common acquisition target due to low technology advancements, difficulties in meeting quality services, poor infrastructure, amongst others. The trend which also highlights large hospitals acquiring small hospitals will further enhance the healthcare sector in rural areas.

Does the pressure for hospitals (and doctors) to have the latest and greatest machines is to get more business?

Technological advancements will be a game changer for healthcare industry in the coming years in India. The industry is constantly evolving and providing western and quality oriented healthcare. Rapid technology advancements have enormously helped healthcare service providers to enhance patient care providing the best possible solution. Though, technological advancements definitely attract more business to the hospitals, it also creates efficient systems to deal with various disorders.

Some argue the solution to this irrational marketplace is to give consumers the price tools to become better shoppers. Will that really bend the proverbial cost curve?

Transparency in pricing and packaging is the way to develop trust in the consumers. Especially in healthcare where the criticality of treatment overrules the cost push, it is essential that healthcare providers and insurers step towards transparency in pricing

How do we change national culture when people fear rationing might be behind efforts to convince them that a particular intervention doesn’t work and is not clinically effective, let alone cost effective?

With very little data of clinical outcomes available in the public domain, this is unlikely to change immediately. However, with a central registry of procedures and outcomes, it will become a good tool for not only making the right clinical choices for the customer but for ensuring quality of care from a governance point of view as well

Can the government really change the system?

Financial budget each year in India is increasingly focusing on healthcare with new schemes and targets. Action plan has been prepared to eliminate Kala azar, Filariasis by 2017, leprosy by 2018, measles by 2020 and elimination of tuberculosis by 2025. Rolling out of National Health Assurance Mission has been one such step towards reducing the out of pocket spending on health care by the common man. The program also comes with a vision of universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care services to all the population of India especially rural areas. Government has positively highlighted its action plan which has true potential in making changes.

Will account able technological start-ups and medical homes become the saviors of Indian health care?

Health-providers and efficient health care sectors have spread across the country and have been proven as a promising model for transforming the healthcare sector. Primary healthcare providers have undoubtedly contributed towards Indian healthcare industry. We are still a little early in times on both these sectors but they are impacting the healthcare landscape efficiently

What needs to happen to make the system more patient-centered?

Healthcare reforms over the years have been patient-centric in order to fit patients’ needs in the best way. Hospitals in India have increasingly focused patient-doctor relationship offering the quality services to patients. Patient care is not just about giving people whatever they want or providing information. It is about considering people’s desires, values, family situations, social circumstances and lifestyles especially in multi-cultural set-up of India.

What steps can patients facing a hospitalization take?

Patient and the family needs to be involved in the decision making with the healthcare provider; be it the physician/surgeon or the hospital. A seamless information flow between these two parties and a true partnership is what will drive the best outcomes both clinically, emotionally and financially


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