AP Companies is an international medical assistance company specialized in providing emergency and planned medical services for expatriates, professionals and travellers around the world. Its direct medical provider network includes over 40,000 medical providers spread between 180 countries.
AP Companies acts as a TPA for major western IPMI insurance companies, travel insurers and other companies. Its cost containment and fraud investigation services are very well known in the market. Covid-19 has changed the world, the businesses and the plans of every single person, but AP Companies did not have time to "stand and stare". While it was a temporary break for many companies, AP Companies' medical network department, evacuation and cost containment teams are busier than ever.
One of the main challenges in the current, unprecedented situation is the fact that both individuals and businesses have to adapt to changes at record speed. That places everyone outside of their comfort zone. Many of the current circumstances produce anxiety and everyone is desperately looking to preserve some peace of mind.
AP Companies has been able to address these challenges in two different ways:
1) AP Companies Global Medical Network goes online
Those living with a chronic disease have to visit their treating doctor on a regular basis, which normally involves in-person visits. Such cases also involve an extensive medical history and a large number of medical reports from years of treatment. Being able to continue their treatment with their preferred physician during current circumstances, often provides huge relief for the patient.
AP Companies built its online proposition bearing in mind the needs of such patients. Patients can continue their treatment with their preferred physician, but from the comfort of their home or office, speaking their native language. The qualification of the specialists carrying out these consultations is undoubtable as they are employed in the best medical facilities in various countries, and there are no issues of licensing, liability insurance or any other such matter.
These digital consultations have proved to be much more personalized and efficient, compared to the often quite anonymous consultations provided by different telehealth platforms.
Another important benefit that AP Companies offers through its Global Telehealth Solution is providing medical prescriptions that are valid in the country where the patient is located, and accepted at local pharmacies. This kind of document can only be issued by physicians who are licensed in that country. AP Companies offers telehealth services through locally recognized medical facilities in different regions, such as: Europe, Asia, Central and South Americas.
2) AP Companies’ online mental health solution: psychological hotline for expatriates
With the unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic leading to people being confined to their homes, borders being shut and economic instability, it can be hard not to feel stressed by the state of the world at the moment. Fear and anxiety about the disease, the unknown, the uncertainty, can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children, occupying their minds and causing all kinds of mental health issues, from anxiety to depression.
In these challenging times, it is very important to have instruments to deal with these issues. For this reason, AP Companies has created a special service to support its IPMI clients: online psychological support
AP Companies’ multilingual specialists fully trained psychologists, certified in online psychological counselling specialized in treating international patients, expatriates and globally mobile individuals. This service has been very well received by the members of different major IPMI insurers, and AP Companies has been very happy to contribute to their wellbeing during these challenging times
Now, when many countries are starting to open their borders, AP Companies is ready to support ts clients, with improved medical network support, cost containment capabilities and online solutions.
Interview: Natalya Butakova, Business Development Director
How has AP Companies navigated the restrictions imposed by global lockdowns and the effects this has had on assistance operations?
AP Companies stopped international travel for its workforce and started a work from home scheme immediately for its employees after the WHO announced the pandemic and gave its recommendations.
Our comprehensive BCP plan has allowed us to guarantee a smooth transition to home office working and we did not face any major problems. Our employees felt they were still part of the team due to regular team meetings n Webex and good team communication between different departments. We are quite proud that we were able to face this unprecedented situation in the best possible way with no impact on the level of our services. Moreover, we managed to make a lot of progress on different projects.
How will AP Companies approach post-pandemic times? When will your offices reopen?
There is much to consider when deciding when and how to invite employees to return to their offices following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though timing and specifics of reintegration plans will vary based upon the geography of our offices and the unique needs of the company n this or that location, AP Companies has developed a holistic approach to this matter. n the absence of a vaccine, aspects of our workplaces will change and this will involve a mixture of different measures, including:
- Reducing the number of staff in the office at any one time in order to provide social distancing
- Flexible schedules, where the employees will start and finish their working day at different times and not all be in the office at once, in order to avoid crowded doors and elevators
- Hygiene will be put at the heart of planning any meetings and activities
- Rotating days (some employees will work from home on Mondays and Wednesdays, others on Tuesdays and Thursdays)
- Temperature checks
Sanitizers available at each table
We will be beginning with those who have the greatest need to be office-based; for example, our customer services teams, which need to work on the phone the majority of the time, so good connection and no outside noise are important considerations that otherwise impact our customers’ experience.
Looking to the future, what is the main business focus going to be for AP Companies?
AP Companies’ future aspirations are to:
Keep creating enduring long-term relationships with our existing customers and providers built on trust, integrity, feasibility and relentless pursuit of excellence
- Keep extending globally via developing and strengthening our worldwide network.
- Keep developing our leads and gain new important IPMI accounts, along with new travel insurance clients, and create new products for professionals of different kinds.
- Deliver cost control with maximum efficiency ensuring reasonable and customary pricing to our clients.