Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital has partnered with CarePay and Safaricom to provide their employees with a mobile outpatient fund management solution. This makes Gertrude’s one of the first large employers in Kenya to move its employee outpatient scheme onto a mobile health wallet for enhanced efficiency and cost control.
The scheme will be run over the M-Tiba platform, which CarePay has developed in partnership with Safaricom and PharmAccess Foundation.
Gordon Otieno, CEO at Gertrude’s says, “As we grew our outlets and operations, it was becoming more and more challenging to operate our staff outpatient scheme. We needed a solution that was sustainable and manageable from the employer’s perspective, while being empowering and user-friendly for our staff. We’re delighted to be leading the way on mobile health innovation and we see M-Tiba as the future for the management of outpatient schemes by employers and insurers.”
The scheme has been branded “Gerties wallet” and it means that all staff now receive an M-Tiba wallet on their mobile phone, allowing them to pay for their outpatient care, with funds pre-loaded by their employer.
Kenneth Afwande, Human Resource Manager at Gertrude’s, adds, “Employee welfare is very important to us. Our core business is to provide treatment and we can’t do this without our entire staff team being healthy and motivated. From the business perspective, we’re managing an increasingly large and complex scheme where process automation is needed to stop this important benefit becoming unwieldy and unaffordable.”
Gertrude’s employees and their dependants are registered in the M-Tiba system and are able to access the credited amounts only on health-related expenses at one of the Gertrude’s outlets. Employees can view their wallet balance and keep financial records of their medical claims. They receive regular SMS notifications on their credit levels.
Gertrude’s has full control of the spend on outpatient health benefits for their staff. And through their online portal they get real-time visibility of the status of individual and group funding, as well as staff utilization of different healthcare facilities.
Kees van Lede, Chief Commercial Officer at CarePay comments, “With this system in place, large employers and their insurers are going to identify considerable reduction in resources spent on administering their outpatient schemes. Not only does the scheme encourage employees to take care of their health, but at the same time, it can cultivate great health savings behaviours among its patient users.”
The M-Tiba mobile health platform recently launched in Kenya and has already contracted over 2,000 healthcare facilities across Kenya. As well as the management of formal outpatient schemes for corporates and insurers, donors are also using M-Tiba to disburse funds to needy and at-risk Kenyans. This year, Safaricom will further roll out its M-Tiba mobile health wallet to all its customers.
Steve Chege, Corporate Affairs Director, Safaricom, says, “The M-Tiba platform is offering a scalable solution for healthcare stakeholders to innovate around services and payments – based on M-PESA. We’ve seen M-PESA achieve significant gains in financial inclusion for Kenyans and we think M-Tiba will achieve the same in terms of healthcare inclusion.”
Gordon Otieno concludes, “We are excited that we can continue to offer outpatient care to our current and future employees. They get the peace of mind that they will have access to the medical treatment they need, when they need it. And we are able to demonstrate to our Board that the costs of our outpatient scheme are sustainable and we have a robust system that promotes full transparency and accountability. ”