This year’s Provider Network Forum, led by Laura Hilton, Fairmount International, begins with a jovial game of Jeopardy with medical and ITIC history categories (and the knowledge that the Madrid area was previously home to a large quantity of bears), before moving onto a frank conversation of some of the restrictive practices between provider and payer. The discussion started with Mexico and the prevention of some hospitals from working with other partners, as well as quality of care and Covid care.
Naming and shaming entities can help prevent this, but the panel discussed how some organisations are targeting hospitals which are unfamiliar with international pricing and treatment. Salvador Belilty Haro, Logimedex, stated that despite some services being unjustly costed, hospitals may still require it for effective treatment, while Elizabeth Boultbee, the London Clinic, noted that, in the UK, hospitals working with the London Clinic are aware of the single pay scale.
In 2021, providers have become more proficient with international consideration and scales, but the sector has matured into more complex problems, including navigating differences in acceptable behaviour and cultural expectations across the world and the larger networks surrounding patients, as Boultbee stated: “We don’t always necessarily know why someone is involved with some patients, or anyone’s specific involvement until they come through our doors, and what it means for GDPR.”
During the audience Q&A, the panel were asked about whether there has been an effort to coordinate responses between assistance companies. Susan Yates stated that although this was attempted some time ago and the response was lukewarm, another attempt might meet a more positive response. Thorkild Lykke, Vumi Group, added: “To have that collaboration, companies would have to share more of the weight size and competition […] some assistance companies are willing, but are protective of who they are working with.”