Namaskaram! Your Medi Assist Website Is Now Available in Malayalam

MediAssist Malayalam Website LaunchMedi Assist launched its website in Malayalam in a special event at Kochi on 29th of August 2016. The website in their native language is dedicated to the 3.25+ lakh lives whose health insurance policies are administered by Medi Assist in Kerala.

The Malayalam version of the website was launched jointly by senior members of the insurance industry, Mr. John Philip, New India Assurance; Mr. K Jothinathan, Oriental Insurance; Mr. Abhijit Chattopadhyay, National Insurance; and Mr. V. Ramachandran, United India Insurance, alongside Dr. Vikram Chhatwal, CEO and Chairman, Medi Assist. With this, the Medi Assist website, www.mediassistindia.com, is available in English and four Indian languages including Hindi,Tamil and Marathi.

The Malayalam version of the website can be explored by clicking the following link.

https://www.mediassistindia.com/malayalam/

Stay tuned, as we add more languages and say hello to you in one of your own!

Blending Tech, Touch & Intelligence to Deliver on All Fronts of Healthcare

Prashant Jhaveri, Head, Products and Strategy, Medi Assist Healthcare Services recently wrote an article for the Business World magazine in which he discussed how TPAs are transforming from being just organizations that process  laims, into partners who help organizations solve for all realms of healthcare. He also discussed how organizations can choose a TPA partner who delivers on all fronts of healthcare– cost, excellence, insights and customer experience.

Scroll down to read the complete article, or click here.

“In many ways, Third Party Administrators (TPAs) are slowly stepping out from the shadows into a healthcare industry that is at the cusp of transformation.

Responsible for processing claims of the insured on behalf of the insurer, TPAs have for long ensured that stakeholders in the healthcare industry concentrate on their core competencies – insurers on underwriting risks and product innovation; medical care providers on enabling high quality of care; and corporate HR on elevating employee experience.

In recent years, TPAs have transformed into being much more than just an organization that manages claims; they are increasingly donning the role of a partner who helps organizations solve for all realms of healthcare and also makes health benefits actionable to their largely young and tech-savvy employee base.

If you are a corporate decision maker, choosing the right TPA can significantly impact the bouquet of services you offer to your people, the cost at which you make these available to them and also the employee experience you enable for them.

While cost has traditionally been the most important parameter applied to evaluate a TPA, in today’s day and age, your choice must be driven by many other aspects. Here is a contemporary guide to choosing a TPA partner who can help you deliver on all fronts – cost, excellence, customer experience and insights.

TECHNOLOGY

Choose a TPA who understands and leverages the power of technology. Adopting a technology-first approach to claims management can go a long way in maximizing productivity and minimizing inefficiencies. Your TPA should be capable of empowering your employees with self-help tools to independently access their e-cards and policy details, raise and track claims online, and access benefits on-the-go using their mobile phones.

Technology-oriented innovations like eCashlessTM can today give employees the ability to “book” a cashless hospitalization using a mobile app and reduce wait time at the hospital during admission by as much as 95 per cent.

The customer experience enabled during cashless hospitalization is a true litmus test for a TPA. TPAs who are able to leverage technology to simplify the process of choosing an ideal network hospital and also systematically reduce the time taken to process a preauthorization request would pass the litmus test with flying colours.

TOUCH

Choose a TPA who appreciates the fact that the magic of the human connect is irreplaceable. From enabling access to a predictable customer support and governance structure, to constantly engaging with your employees at various junctures of their healthcare lifecycle, TPAs must have the ability to truly touch every life they service.

At Medi Assist, we leverage two innovative consumer touch points at two opposite ends of the spectrum. With our CareRangers program, we check on the well-being of our members by their bedside at the hospital when the family in the throes of a medical emergency. On the other end of the spectrum is ChampCamp, our high-energy onsite event that has helped us create awareness about health benefits among more than 50,000 Gen Y professionals in less than one year.

OPERATIONS

Your TPA must demonstrate a deep understanding of their core operations – claims management – and also a willingness to constantly evolve with the rapidly changing world around them. Building robust systems that increase process accuracy and scalability, and adopting industry best practices such as paperless processing, digital receipt and storage of documents, real-time access, analytics, etc., can be significant differentiators for TPAs today.

Fraud and abuse control are a natural extension of strong operations. Your TPA must adopt the right blend of technology, to automatically flag suspicious activities, and people, whose timely intervention can safeguard the interests of all stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Couple these with the need to demonstrate full knowledge of regulatory norms, and compliance with statutory regulations and audit practices, and you have a TPA whom you can rely on to manage your health benefits conscientiously.

INTELLIGENCE

Partner with a TPA who empowers you to control and channelize your health spend effectively. TPAs have always been instrumental in reducing overall cost of care by enabling cashless hospitalization at preferred tariffs. TPAs are also entrusted with generation of MIS reports to evaluate adherence to SLAs.

Your TPA must go one step further to help you analyse your portfolio and give you actionable insights – top ailments where your benefits are being spent, demographical contribution, year-on-year movement of incurred claims ratio (ICR) and, importantly, predictive analysis that can help you design your benefits programs effectively in the coming years.

Clearly, the role of a TPA has morphed in recent years – and interestingly, this transformation is led by the growing needs of your growing organization and the demands of your savvy employees. Let’s welcome this paradigm shift and prepare for a future where employee delight hinges as much on experience as it does on cost and other traditional parameters – with a TPA and an insurer partner who share your vision and can match your pace of growth”.

The Changing Face of TPAs

Prashant-JhaveriPrashant Jhaveri, Head, Products and Strategy, Medi Assist Healthcare Services, was recently interviewed by Healthcare Radius, a healthcare magazine for Indian healthcare professionals. Discussing the changing face of health insurance third party administrators (TPA), this is what he had to say:

“TPAs are an integral part of the rapidly evolving healthcare ecosystem – they are the bridge between insurance companies, hospitals and their customers, facilitating seamless access to cashless health insurance benefits. Going by the observable trends in the Indian healthcare industry, the role of TPAs is only going to widen in the years to come. TPAs play the unique role of an aggregator in the industry; they empanel hospitals into their network to enable cashless hospitalization for their members. TPAs bring insurance companies, hospitals, ambulatory healthcare service providers, pharmacies, corporates, and individuals together, and as the single point of contact for all of them, they manage a wide web of interactions seamlessly.

TPAs that can aggregate a wide spectrum of service providers will be in a position to attract many more consumers of healthcare. Service providers are also more willing to partner with TPAs that have a wide customer-base in a bid to reach out to a larger segment of the market”.

To read the complete article, click the following link:

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx?pbid=900364d7-8bdf-4e78-a041-221f6e35ec1

A Unique Approach to Customer Support at Medi Assist!

Our technology-driven approach and human-touch enable you to manage your healthcare in the most effective manner!

Touching lives, making a difference to our members, and becoming an indispensable part of their lives with meaningful solutions and offerings, is how we begin to define customer engagement at Medi Assist. Here, at Medi Assist, we always put our customers on the forefront. We are committed to helping you, our valued customer, make informed healthcare decisions.

Through our tech and touch approach, which includes our MediBuddy platform and a range of other digital and human touch points, we ensure that we are within reach whenever our customers need us.

  • MediBuddy: MediBuddy is a self-help tool that enables you to make independent decisions about your health and well-being. Available as a portal and an app, MediBuddy enables you to access a range of health and wellness-related services, at your fingertips.
  • CareRangers: Our CareRangers meet you at your chosen network hospital, put your family members at ease and help in addressing any concerns that you may have with respect to your claims or hospitalization
  • ChampCamp: ChampCamp is a novel and interactive initiative that combines health benefits and wellness with fun, games and social engagement to delight employees and create a lasting impact.
  • Corporate help desks: If your company has a TPA help desk, simply walk-over and ask our representative your queries!
  • Social media channels: We have an active presence on all major social media platforms, so you can connect with us at your leisure!
  • MediBuddy Infiniti Online Chat Option: MediBuddy Infiniti lets you access a range of outpatient services at your fingertips. If you find yourself having any queries, you can reach us through an online chat!
  • Customer Support (Toll free number/ dedicated email ID): You can always reach a customer support representative, 24×7, on 1800 425 9449. If you prefer to email, send us your queries on our dedicated email ID, gethelp@mahs.in.
  • Digital Help Desk: Simply login to MediBuddy, select your query type and give us a few details about your query, and we will get back to you at the earliest!

It is our endeavour to live by our philosophy of “Going beyond impersonal channels and personally touching lives each day in ways often unanticipated by our members.”

So, stay assured that we’re always around when you need us! Stay updated with the latest buzz at Medi Assist and get helpful tips and information related to your health insurance benefits on our blogs!

Book your Lab Test online, with MediBuddy Infiniti

When you accidentally prick your finger and you look at a drop of your blood, does it ever occur to you that what holds your gaze is actually a vast library of vital health related information?  Blood tests and other such diagnostic tests are often the first step to assess the health of the body and help uncover the first signs of disease and ill-health. The findings from lab tests can help catch critical changes in the body before they begin to manifest themselves, such as cardiac issues, cancer, diabetes and more.

Most of us undergo routine diagnostic tests as part of a variety of health check programs. Often, our doctors advise us for certain lab tests to help zero in on a disease. While we understand the importance of these tests, most of us will postpone that visit to the diagnostic centre due to paucity of time, or maybe just for the fear of needle pricks and ominous-looking machines!

MediBuddy Infiniti helps you solve for the former, by providing a platform that lets you book your preferred lab test online, from the diagnostic centres and path labs you trust, at a date and time which is convenient to you!

Through the newly launched Lab Test service, MediBuddy Infiniti adds yet another service to its list of outpatient offerings! MediBuddy Infiniti is your Curated Network for Cashless Outpatient Services, where users can enjoy the convenience of booking their preferred service from Health Checks, Medicines, Consultation, Home Health Care, Tele Consultation, Second Opinion, Genome Study, and now Lab Tests too!

For your preferred Lab test, you get to avail attractive inaugural discounts, and also the additional advantage of making your booking completely cashless, based on your policy cover!

Go ahead; book your first Lab Test on MediBuddy Infiniti!

 
A lot more is coming soon, just for you! So stay tuned…

What you should know about Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery

Plan your bypass procedure with MediBuddy for a hassle-free hospitalization.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting sounds very complicated and is a bit of a mouthful, but can be explained in a rather simple manner. Let’s say, on your usual route to work, there is some road work happening that causes on-coming traffic to pile-up and come to a stand-still. The traffic police block this road and create an alternate route for vehicles to get around, and this helps you and other commuters get to work easily. This is essentially what a coronary bypass surgery is. During your bypass procedure, the diseased sections of your coronary arteries are bypassed with healthy artery or vein grafts to increase blood flow to the heart muscle tissue. Bypass typically requires open-chest surgery. However, there are several newer, less invasive techniques for bypass surgery that can be used instead of open-chest surgery, in some cases.

Not everyone with coronary artery disease needs bypass surgery. In some cases, an angioplasty procedure or even just lifestyle changes might be enough to treat heart diseases.

Bypass Surgery Risks

While the amount of time and number of bypasses required may differ due to the severity of the blockages, there are usually a few risks associated with a bypass surgery, such as heart attack, stroke, too much bleeding, etc.  Other risks include return of angina, problems from anesthesia and infections at the site of the chest incision. A few, particularly older people, suffer from memory loss and have trouble thinking clearly. However, these problems usually tend to improve over time.

Procedure

In most cases, bypass surgery is an open-chest surgery. You’ll receive anesthesia before the surgery. During the surgery, your chest will be open and your heart exposed. The surgeon removes a healthy blood vessel—often from the leg—and attaches (grafts) it to the blocked artery. The new blood vessel bypasses the blocked artery to increase blood flow to the heart. You may have to stay in the hospital for at least 3 to 8 days after the surgery, followed by 4 to 6 weeks of recovery time at home.

Advancements in Bypass Surgery

Recent advances in surgical techniques and equipment allow the surgeon to perform CABG in a less traumatic, “minimally invasive” manner. Minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) may include a smaller incision or may avoid the use of a heart-lung machine, or both.  Pioneering work is also being done to develop techniques that will allow surgeons to perform beating-heart bypass procedures through “keyhole” incisions. This technique requires special equipment and the heart keeps on pumping blood for the body.

Life after Bypass Surgery

The success of a bypass surgery also depends on you. You will need to stop smoking, eat right and get regular exercise after your surgery. These changes will help your bypass grafts last and stay open longer. They will also give you the best chance of living a longer, healthier life. If you are taking medicines for angina, lowering cholesterol, or to control blood pressure, be sure to take these every day or as per your doctor’s prescription.

Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting is a serious and life-altering procedure. If you find yourself having doubts and questions about the procedure, you can always book a Second Opinion Service on MediBuddy Infiniti and get an expert opinion from our team of world-class specialists. Read more.

It is also necessary to plan your bypass procedure in advance and make them cashless to help alleviate any inconvenience on the day of hospitalization. eCashless on MediBuddy helps you avail provisional pre-authorization for cashless hospitalization at your chosen network hospital ahead of the date of the procedure, in a quick and hassle-free manner. Learn more. And, if you happen to have your procedure at a non-network hospital, you can raise a reimbursement claim and track its status in real-time with MediBuddy. You can also search for hospitals within your insurer’s network and filter them by location, specialties, amenities, room types, etc., and pick one that best matches your needs. Learn more.

Post your bypass procedure, you can also schedule follow-up consultations with a specialist and order your medications online, with MediBuddy Infiniti!

Manage an Asthma Attack!

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A chronic inflammatory lung disease, asthma is identified by periodic attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. Though the exact cause is not known, allergens, tobacco smoke and chemical irritants are known asthma triggers.

Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) which works worldwide to reduce asthma prevalence is observing World Asthma Day on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.  The theme this year is, “It’s Time to Control Asthma.” A healthy diet, an active lifestyle and the right medications play a crucial role in keeping your asthma under control. 

Fast Facts:

  • About 235 million people currently suffer from asthma.
  • Asthma is the most common non-communicable disease among children. 

Attack Management

An asthma patient can have a flare-up of symptoms at any time. This sudden and severe worsening is called an asthma attack, and it can vary between mild, severe and life threatening. Take a look at the table below to recognize the symptoms and the control measures:

Mild/moderate symptoms Minor difficulty in breathing, may cough or wheeze, can talk & move around. First aid assistance
Severe symptoms Evident difficulty in breathing, may cough or wheeze, cannot speak a sentence in a breath, reliever medication not lasting as long as usual. 1. First aid assistance2. Take emergency medical help.
Life-threatening  symptoms Gasping for breath, no cough or wheeze, unable to speak properly, exhausted, no response to reliever medication. 1. First aid assistance2. Take emergency medical help.

First aid assistance

The standard asthma first aid procedure can be learnt by anyone and is safe for adults and kids. Stay calm and start the first aid once you recognize an asthma attack.

  1. Sit the person upright. Be calm, comforting and do not leave the patients alone.
  2. Provide 4 separate puffs of blue/grey reliever puffer.  Shake, put 1 puff into the spacer and give 4 breaths from the spacer.
  3. Wait for four minutes. Give 4 more separate puffs if there are no signs of improvement.
  4. Call an ambulance. Till it arrives, continue giving 4 separate puffs every 4 minutes.

Long-term asthma management

After asthma is diagnosed, the goal of long-term management is to reduce impairment and reduce risk by the following measures:

  • Prevention of chronic symptoms
  • Maintenance of normal lung function and activity levels
  • Prevention of exacerbation
  • Minimize need for emergency care and hospitalizations
  • Prevention of loss of lung function

Since there is no cure for asthma and the symptoms can be effectively controlled with treatment and management, it is important to take your medications as directed and avoid attack triggers.

Inhaled corticosteroids alone or in combination with long-acting beta-agonists (LABA), leukotriene modifiers and short-acting beta-agonists are some of the medicine classes currently used to provide symptomatic relief from asthma. Managing your asthma also includes smoking cessation, weight reduction and  allergen avoidance.

Try and stay away from these allergens:

  • Animal skin/saliva
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroach particles
  • Chemical irritants
  • Air pollutants
  • Mold
  • Pollen

Did You Know?

Asthma sufferers should be vaccinated annually as they are at an increased risk of developing complications from respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumonia.

Quit Smoking!

Tobacco-Web

Tobacco has killed more than 100 million people in the 20th century and is one of the biggest health challenges in the world today. Cigarette smoking is a major element in tobacco-related illnesses and causes one-third of all cancers, including 90 percent of lung cancer cases. The World No Tobacco day (WNTD) is organized on 31st May every year by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners who work worldwide to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocate effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Fast facts

  • Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people each year.
  • 1 in every 10 cigarettes and many tobacco products consumed worldwide are illegal.

Dangers of cigarette smoking

  • On an average, smokers live 10 years lesser than non-smokers.
  • Smoking deprives you of some of your good cholesterol.
  • It temporarily raises your blood pressure and makes it more difficult to exercise.
  • Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke cause cancer of the lung, skin, liver, blood, kidney, prostate, oesophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, rectum, and myeloid leukaemia.
  • It increases the risk of chronic disorders, such as atherosclerosis which can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke.
  • In adults, second-hand smoke causes serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer.
  • In pregnant women, second-hand smoke causes low birth weight and can also cause sudden death in infants.

Get ready to quit smoking

Here are a few pointers to kick the habit:

A. Prepare to quit

  • Set a quit date within the next two weeks to quit smoking.
  • Tell your family and friends you are planning to quit so that they can support you.
  • If you take any medications, consult your doctor before quitting.
  • Be aware and plan for challenges such as withdrawal symptoms and uncontrollable craving to smoke.
  • Stay strong and remove things that remind you of smoking from your car, home or office.

 B. Quit day

1. Choose a method or combination of methods that will work best for you:

“Cold turkey”: Just stop smoking all at once on your Quit Day

Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke each day until you stop smoking completely

Smoke only part of each cigarette to help you count the number of puffs you take from each cigarette

2. Stay busy by changing your regular routine on your quit day

3. Throw away your cigarettes, lighters and ash trays. Avoid caffeine and don’t hang out with smokers

4. Eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of rest

5. Stay positive and vigilant

C. Decide if you need medications

If you are addicted to nicotine, medicines can help make your first few weeks easier. A nicotine replacement medicine (gum, spray, patch or inhaler) may help you stop smoking. Non-nicotine replacement medicines can help curb your withdrawal symptoms. Do not forget to consult your doctor for instructions on any medications.  

Health rewards after you quit

  • Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood stream drops to normal.
  • Within 3 months, your circulation and lung function improve.
  • After 9 months, you cough less and breathe easier.
  • After 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half.
  • After 5 years, your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, and bladder are cut in half.
  • After 10 years, your likelihood of suffering lung cancer decreases by half, and your risk of larynx or pancreatic cancer decreases.
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease is the same as a non-smoker’s risk.

Did you know?

There are around 250 known harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke, and at least 69 of them can cause cancer.

Sources:

  • World Health Organization. Accessed May 8, 2015.
  • Smokefree.gov. Accessed May 7, 2015.
  • American Heart Association. Accessed May 9, 2015.
  • National Cancer Institute. Accessed May 8, 2015.

Health Benefits of Blood Donation!

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Blood donation is a gift you give yourself as much as others. It is a simple, safe and healthy contribution for a reliable blood supply to support your community. World Blood Donor day is organized by World Health Organization (WHO) on 14th June every year to raise awareness on blood donation. It is also an attempt to encourage more people to donate blood voluntarily and regularly.

Fast Facts:

  • A single unit of blood can help save the lives of three people.
  • Only 62 countries have national blood supplies based on 100% voluntary unpaid blood donations.

Why should you donate blood?

You can safely donate blood once every 56 days.

  • Blood cannot be manufactured, and there is no substitute for human blood.
  • Currently, only one-tenth of our country’s blood requirement is met through donation.
  • About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood, every 2 seconds someone needs blood.
  • Sickle cell patients require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.

Benefits of donating blood:

Here’s how you benefit by donating blood:

Red blood cell (RBC) production is boosted: Donation of blood reduces the number of RBCs in the blood. The bone marrow immediately replenishes the lost cells; as a result your blood is refreshed every time you donate.

You get a free health screening: Every time you give blood, your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, cholesterol and hemoglobin levels are checked. Also, you get to know your blood type if you didn’t know it already.

Risk of heart disease is reduced: When you donate blood, you remove 225 to 250 mg of iron from your system, thus cutting your risk of heart disease. Menopausal women also can reduce their risk of heart disease as they are incapable of losing iron every month through menstruation.

You feel amazing: It is an act of kindness which is incomparable, especially when you realize that one hour of your time and 475 ml of blood has saved lives.

Some tips for an efficient donation:

If it is your first time, go prepared. Here are a few pointers:

  1. Get a good sleep before your donation.
  2. Eat a healthy meal.
  3. Wear clothes that can be raised above your elbows.
  4. Relax by listening to music or talking to other donors during the process.
  5. Take 4 extra glasses of liquids and avoid alcohol for 24 hours after the donation.
  6. After the process, remove the wrap bandage within the next hour but keep the strip bandage on for the next few hours.
  7. Avoid performing any strenuous activity for at least 24 hours.

Did you know?

Blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack and 33% less likely to suffer any type of cardiovascular event. 

Sources:

1. World Health Organization. Accessed May 18, 2015.

2. American Red Cross. Accessed May 28, 2015.

3. Blood Centers of the Pacific. Accessed May 27, 2015.

4. Nebraska Community Blood Blank. Accessed May 8, 2015.

ANYONE CAN HAVE A HEAT STROKE!

Sunstroke; Солнечный удар

 This summer is perhaps the hottest that India has seen in quite a while. Heat stroke are a frightening reality that we must all guard against; the very young and the old are especially susceptible.

Spot the Symptoms:

Heat stroke is a medical emergency; therefore, be on a lookout for these symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Signs of moderate to severe difficulty breathing
  • Fever of over 104°F
  • Headache
  • Confusion, severe restlessness or anxiety
  • Rapid breathing and racing heart rate
  • Heavy sweating
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea

Prevent it: 

  • Stay adequately hydrated at all times (drink a minimum of 4 litres of fluid). Consume plenty of citrus fruits like oranges and lemon, which are an excellent source of electrolytes.
  • Wear light coloured and loose fitting clothes (cotton clothes are the best). Lighter colours reflect light so you will not feel the heat as much. Loose clothes allow easy circulation of air and help cool you down.
  • Take a cool shower. This improves blood circulation and helps you shake off the exhaustion you feel due to the heat.
  • Eat easily digestible foods and include a good amount of fresh fruits and raw veggies with high water content. Avoid spicy, oily and salty foods as these require more water to be digested.
  • Cover up using a sunscreen, hat, scarf or umbrella whenever you step out. These also protect your skin from sunburn, freckles and heat rashes.
  • Cut down on strenuous exercises; you may experience muscle pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs due to depletion of salt and water.
  • Do not leave your kids or pets in a closed car. Even with the air conditioner on, the temperature inside a car can rise dangerously in no time.
  • Summer is best enjoyed when you are healthy! Take these simple precautions and enjoy the season to its fullest!

Sources:

MayoClinic. Accessed June 6, 2015. NYC.gov. Accessed June 4, 2015. MedicineNet. Accessed June 8, 2015.