Co-ordinated care: Better for your health and pocket!

One of the keys to good healthcare is developing a strong relationship with a general practitioner (GP) whom you trust and respect, and making them the co-ordinator of your care.

Being familiar with your medical history and background, such a GP would generally be best placed to see the ‘big picture’ when it comes to your and your loved ones’ health. He or she can also ensure appropriate medical testing, specialist interventions and even any hospitalisation that you may require; with the further reassurance that a record of your (and your loved ones’) medical history can be kept in one place, and shared with specialists and other providers when necessary.

Visiting more than one GP on a regular basis, on the other hand, holds major disadvantages for both members and the Scheme, such as:

  • conflicting diagnoses and treatments;
  • additional costs being incurred where similar diagnostic tests are repeated or medicines are duplicated by different GPs; and
  • an increased opportunity for fraud through members potentially allowing their Scheme membership cards to be used by other persons not known to the different GPs being visited.

The graph below shows the difference in average claims between a situation where there is no/low co-ordinated care (in other words, where members choose to visit a variety of GPs and specialists), and a situation where members are encouraged to use a single GP as the co-ordinator of their medical healthcare. As you can see, the cost of claims is three times higher where care is not co-ordinated, which can have a dramatic effect on overall healthcare costs. We therefore urge you to use your GP as your care co-ordinator – not only for the financial savings, but also for improved health outcomes.