Discovery Health incentivizes doctors to get healthy for their own sake and that of their patients

*This content is written by Jonathan Broomberg CEO of Discovery Health

Discovery Health, the administrator of the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, as well as 17 restricted medical schemes, is actively working to create a shared value healthcare system in collaboration with healthcare professionals to promote better health and better healthcare. This was the key message at an event for healthcare professionals, at which Discovery Health launched a number of initiatives aimed at deepening its partnership with doctors in building a shared value healthcare system.

Jonathan Broomberg, Discovery Health CEO
Dr. Jonathan Broomberg, Discovery Health CEO

“Our core purpose, to make people healthier and enhance and protect their lives, has inspired us to apply our shared value model to generate unique value for all key stakeholders in the healthcare system. We recognise the critical role that doctors play in shaping the healthcare system; our shared value healthcare model and digital innovations enable us to collaborate with medical professionals to accelerate the move towards a patient-centred system with better coordination and quality of care. In addition, it’s important to us that the doctors themselves are taking better care of their own health and wellbeing ” says Dr Jonathan Broomberg, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Health.

At the event on 22 November 2016 in Sandton, Broomberg shared the trends impacting the healthcare ecosystem, including the escalating costs associated with an increasing disease burden, among other things. Broomberg also suggested some elements of the shared value solution, including the impact of a healthy doctor and a digitally-enabled practice on the wellbeing of patients. Discovery Health data collected on a sample of doctors actively engaged with Vitality shows a clear correlation between the health of a doctor and the health of their patients.

“If doctors adopt healthy behaviours, they are more likely to ensure that their patients are healthier, through increased screening and advice on leading a healthy lifestyle,” said Broomberg. “With healthier doctors, we expect a big shift in the health status of patients, which contributes to lowering healthcare costs right across the system. This allows our medical scheme clients to share savings with participating doctors through remuneration models that reward doctors for making their patients healthier, and for delivering higher quality and more efficient healthcare.”

To support this drive for healthier doctors and healthier patients, Discovery Health launched Vitality Active Rewards for Doctors, which provides participating doctors with an upfront 50% discount on Apple Watches and other wearable fitness devices, as well as an upfront 55% discount on the Cardiocheck point of care device that doctors can use to check their patients’ cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the doctors’ rooms. Doctors actively engaging in the Vitality Active Rewards for Doctors programme are able to increase these discounts to 100%.

Broomberg commented “Doctors play a critical role in the healthcare system and have great influence on the behaviour of their patients. Our data supports the view that the health of doctor themselves is vital to the delivery of high-quality healthcare.”

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