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Mediclinic News : Data show too few patients question their doctors' decisions about procedures

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Data show too few patients question their doctors' decisions about procedures

Date

2018-05-31

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News Description

BUSINESS DAY LIVE Only one in six members of Discovery Health Medical Scheme (DHMS) is using its scoring system to gauge the quality of private hospitals before they are admitted, it emerged on Thursday. This suggests that few patients are questioning the decisions made by their referring doctors when they need procedures, despite the attention the Competition Commission’s Health Market Inquiry has drawn to the importance of quality measures in health. During the inquiry’s public hearings in 2016 its panel members highlighted how little information was available to patients and medical schemes about the quality of services they were paying for, with panel member Cees van Gent saying it was akin to going to a market and buying vegetables without looking at them. For several years, DHMS has been running an annual survey of its members’ views on the quality of the care they receive when they are admitted to hospital, as it says patient experiences correlate to the quality of clinical services provided by healthcare institutions. It uses the data to compile an annual ranking of SA’s private hospitals, which it makes available to the general public, but members can also access more detailed quality scores for specific hospitals and units within them. "We still have a situation where 85% of patients are simply going where they are told. They are referred by a GP or specialist, but [they do not] check to see if the hospital gives a good experience," said Discovery Health CEO Jonathan Broomberg. Discovery Health is the administrator of DHMS. But Discovery Health deputy CEO Ryan Noach said there were signs that younger members were more actively involved in decisions about their healthcare. "Millennials and generation-Zs are doing more research and are more digitally active. They are also more fickle in their decision-making," he said. DHMS launched an app-based option two year ago, which was dominated by younger members. The average age of principal members on this option was 29 years, compared to the scheme average of 45 years, he said.
Created at 2018/06/05 04:43 PM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2018/06/05 04:43 PM by Mediclinic