November 13, 2009
Allianz Worldwide Care, a leading provider of international health insurance for employees, individuals and their families, has unveiled its recent initiative to recruit Regional Medical Managers in key locations around the world. To date, there are Regional Medical Managers for Africa and the Middle East in Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Angola and Dubai; in Brazil and Uruguay (covering South America) as well as in Russia and Ukraine (covering the Commonwealth of Independent States). The primary goals of this initiative have been to enhance service levels for clients from an “on the ground” perspective, such as locally co-ordinated evacuations, and to provide local support for the company’s existing cost containment practices.
These Regional Medical Managers are being selected on the strength of their medical expertise (all are experienced doctors), their familiarity with the region concerned, their language capabilities and their experience in dealing with local hospitals, clinics and medical practitioners. Allianz Worldwide Care has well established relationships with a wide range of medical providers in all world regions, particularly in areas of population density, however many of its corporate clients have employees working in more remote regions, for example those involved in exploration and mining. Having Regional Medical Managers in client-led locations means that Allianz Worldwide Care is well placed to put agreements in place with the closest appropriate medical providers to where those employees are based. They can also set up out-patient direct settlement arrangements, over and above the traditional in-patient direct settlement facilities, whereby payment for medical treatment is handled directly between the insurer and the hospital or doctor’s practice. These Regional Medical Managers also assist in cases of medical evacuation or repatriation, providing locally-based advice, updates and back-up to clients as well as the staff at Allianz Worldwide Care’s headquarters in Dublin.
Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Ulrike Sucher, Medical Director at Allianz Worldwide Care stated: “This regional recruitment of additional medical expertise corresponds with the substantial increase in the number of clients we have in Africa and South America. Groups who require tailored networks in new or remote areas can be accommodated quickly, plus they have a local contact point. As for the healthcare providers, they will deal, in person, with a designated Allianz Worldwide Care staff member, with whom they’ll have regular contact. This allows for continuity and enables mutually beneficial, long-term relationships to be built and strengthened over time”.
Allianz Worldwide Care has a number of processes in place to contain the cost of healthcare and its subsequent impact on health insurance premiums. One of the key ones is its Treatment Guarantee policy, where pre-authorization is sought for in-patient and certain out-patient treatments, giving staff the opportunity to speak directly with hospitals in advance of treatment, further negotiate on treatment costs where necessary and facilitate the admission process for insured members. As with the company’s 48 hour claims processing policy, arrangement of Treatment Guarantee is also extremely fast. Fully completed Treatment Guarantee requests are responded to within 24 hours, plus clients can arrange them over the phone if treatment is due to take place within 72 hours. The Regional Medical Managers will be able to negotiate fees with local medical providers as well as provide additional support and advice to head office staff when it comes to specific quotes for upcoming in-patient treatment. They will be in an ideal position to monitor and address any medical costs which are above average for the region concerned.
For a company seeking new ways of enhancing its award winning service levels, this initiative will help Allianz Worldwide Care ensure that medical treatment and costs are appropriate, while still enabling clients to receive the highest level of service and ease of access to medical care, regardless of where they’re based. The location of additional Regional Medical Managers will continue to be client led, based on the needs of existing and new corporate clients and the location of their employees.
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