Intercare, a provider of integrated healthcare services, has opened its new R70m medical centre and day hospital in Century City, Cape Town.
This will be the group’s fourth day hospital and its 16th medical centre since Intercare was founded in 2000 by Dr Hendrik Hanekom and Dr George Veliotes and this will complement the existing three sub-acute and rehabilitation hospitals. The Intercare Group has had a very clear vision since inception: to provide quality private healthcare that would be more affordable and accessible to a greater proportion of South Africans.
Intercare disengaged itself from the costly and out-dated traditional healthcare model and embraced contemporary, international trends in value-based healthcare. Value-based healthcare places its emphasis on value rather than volumes. The focus is firmly centred on patient outcomes with the ultimate goal being to maximise value for patients. In essence, it’s about achieving the best outcomes at the lowest cost.
Within the centre are three state-of-the-art theatres, a procedure room, 24 beds, a mammography unit, a centre for lifestyle management focusing on individual wellness, corporate wellness and disease management, a Dis-Chem pharmacy, general practitioners, and a whole host of other health care disciplines. These include pathology, radiology, as well as biokineticists, dieticians, and physiotherapists.
This kind of integration is critical says Dr Hanekom. “Healthcare is highly fragmented, and costs are escalating. High risk patients are the most exposed to system fragmentation, which further increases costs and reduces quality of care. It really is time for a fundamentally new strategy, and the foundation of that change is offering team-based services that treat subgroups of patients with measured and transparent outcomes.”
Intercare’s business model is centred on three key subgroups of patients with similar needs. The first group is the healthy patient who would only need to come into the medical centre for health checks, preventative screenings like mammograms, or for acute, short-term illnesses. The second group is the healthy patient with a significant event which may alter their health in the short-term. The third group is the high risk patient with one or more chronic conditions like diabetes, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases, or HIV.
Basis of model
Intercare’s centre for lifestyle management forms the basis of its model of disruptive innovation within healthcare. Through the coordinated care of patients with chronic illnesses in a primary care setting, Intercare aims to manage their health and keep them out of hospital.
“We have an ageing population and an increasing number of people making unhealthy lifestyle choices, which means an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases. The most high risk patients – those with one or more chronic conditions – make up 10% of the population, but account for 50% of the total healthcare expenditure. If we can change that, we can change the entire healthcare system in South Africa,” Dr Hanekom explains.
The day hospital will be home to leading specialists in hand surgery, orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery, ENT, general surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, urology, maxillofacial surgery and dentistry with many of these specialists consulting at the facility.