Mandatory insurance spurs demand for specialised staff in health sector

Health providers are hiring more medical insurance coordinators, sub-medical insurance officers, underwriters, etc to make patients’ experience smoother, says Avivo Group chief

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Avivo Group Dr. Atul Aundhekar
Avivo Group Chief Executive Officer Dr. Atul Aundhekar. - Supplied photo

Staff Report

Healthcare providers in Dubai are hiring more specialised staff to deal with insurance-related issues since the mandatory medical insurance law came into effect, and the number of health policyholders have multiplied, an expert has said.

“With more than 5.1 million insurance policies having been adopted after it was made mandatory for all Dubai residents to have health insurance as compared to less than 600,000 policyholders in 2013, most of the big healthcare organisations are recruiting an army of insurance personnel to ensure a smooth experience for their patients,” said Avivo Group Chief Executive Officer Dr Atul Aundhekar.

“To put it differently, the payment model has changed. So is the buying behaviour of patients. Now we need medical insurance coordinators, coders, sub-insurance officers, claims processors, resubmission specialist and empanelment specialist, insurance officers, etc. to deal with insurance companies and process the medical claims of patients,” he added.

“Healthcare entities such as Avivo Group, which even otherwise faces heavy operating expenditures, are putting additional money on the new department that handles insurance-related activities. Any delay in recovering dues or rejections of claims by insurers make it critical to a business’s well-being,” said Dr Atul of Avivo, one of the fastest-growing healthcare service providers in the GCC.

However, the proactive attitude of the authorities is making the whole process better and smoother for all the stakeholders – individuals, healthcare providers and insurance companies.
The most critical activity in Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) is the AR management. (Account Receivable) in other words, timely collection of your claims money from insurance companies. Healthcare groups which are good at this, have good health as ‘business’.

“New policies are making things easier for all the participants of Dubai’s health insurance market, which is now more than AED 17 billion annually and includes 75 insurance companies that offer more than 12,000 insurance policies of various kinds and benefits,” he said.

According to Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the policyholders are able to benefit from the services and the health insurance package anywhere in the country, within the approved network that includes more than 3,000 health facilities and 20,000 accredited doctors.

“Serious players like Avivo Group make huge investments in upgrading equipment and facilities in order to give quality services to patients. When you upgrade your facilities, you need people and technology to support them. Thus, the total cost of the company increases,” he added.

“Avivo Group – which has a presence in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Kuwait – is committed to providing high-notch health solutions to its patients at an affordable cost. Our strategy is to maximise resource optimisation to make it more pocket-friendly for our patients,” he added.

“The group is playing its role in helping Dubai tap into the UAE market, which boasts an average of US$1,200 in healthcare spending per capita, placing the country in the world’s Top 20,” Dr Atul pointed out.

“The UAE’s health expenditure, which had hit AED 50.3 billion in 2018, is expected to increase 5.4 per cent to AED 53 billion in 2019,” he added.