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Intellicare (Asalus Corporation): Always in pursuit of better health care services

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Intellicare (Asalus Corporation), a health maintenance organization (HMO) that began operations in 1995, has made a commitment to consistently provide its members with high-quality, easily accessible health care services. And the steadfastness with which it has stuck to this commitment through decades has made it one of the country’s biggest HMOs today.

In 2016, Intellicare reached a historic milestone — its membership surpassed the one million mark. “Having breached the 1,000,000 membership mark in 2016, 2017 ushered in a new era of expansion with a growth rate of 20% which we intend to maintain so that we may be able to serve 2,000,000 in the next five years,” Mario M. Silos, Intellicare chairman and president, said in an e-mail to BusinessWorld.

Members of Intellicare can avail themselves of a wide variety of health care services at more than two thousand accredited hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and other medical facilities nationwide. Among their options are the annual physical exam (complete blood count, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram and more); a range of out-patient services (emergency room care, medical consultation, minor surgery not requiring confinement, etc.); and in-patient confinement services (room and board benefits, laboratory tests and administered medicines, among others).

Intellicare takes notice of the changing health needs of its members — and concocts the best possible responses. Before, people took care of their needs only when they needed treatment. Now, better health awareness and access to quality health care mean they can take a more preventive tack. “We are responding to this more holistic approach to health care delivery by giving them more alternatives on the preventive side and better options on the management side of existing conditions,” Mr. Silos said. The organization offers several preventive care services — periodic medical checkup, counseling on health habits, and even routine immunization.

To make all these services available to more people is a long-term goal Intellicare has set for itself. “Our reach across the archipelago is constantly being enhanced. We continue to expand the network of medical providers and Intellicare’s presence in the archipelago,” Mr. Silos said. “We focus on managing the delivery of health care with the end view of effectively assuring our membership base of quality health care at the most affordable rates.”

Strategic alliances with many medical facilities staffed by some 18,000 highly regarded physicians and medical specialists have been forged by Intellicare through the years. Though in the early days of its operations the relationships it had were nothing more than transactional, the organization is striving to make its multiple affiliations more meaningful.

“Today, we are trying to work toward a transformative relationship where there is a clear understanding of the nobility of the endeavor to expand the availability of quality and affordable health care to our population. This is an ongoing dialogue with them such that we want to achieve a clear case of a win-win situation for both parties even on a business level,” Mr. Silos said.

“We involve all stakeholders to the end view of what we want to do and what we want to achieve — that something greater is of importance rather than just a transaction. It has become more and more evident that the relationship has become transformational rather than just transactional,” he added.

Besides the pursuit of transformative relationships, Intellicare also tries to be as innovative as it can be — by collecting and understanding data. “The very key element to being able to provide the necessary health care solutions is to understand and record the behavior over a certain period of time (e.g. study utilization). Only when you have these data gathered and analyzed that you are able to intelligently provide the required solutions. You cannot have a blanket solution for everybody who may have different situations (e.g. variations in terms of geographical location, age band, sex),” Mr. Silos explained.

He added, “It is critical that you have the experience of actually working with them before you can actually provide long-term solutions to their specific problems. We normally provide all of these necessary innovations and changes based on the findings. You cannot be generic. To us, it is critical that we have these accounts for certain duration so that we could actually provide in-depth solutions to their problems.”

Intellicare has also started to link up with other organizations like telemedicine centers. “Collaborative partnerships are essential. An example of this is our partnership with a telemedicine center so that we can give our members access to consult with a doctor over the phone 24/7 anywhere in the country,” Mr. Silos said.

Moving forward, the organization aims to provide more accessible facilities across the country. “This could mean wider accessibility and better affordability for our members,” he said.

“Second critical area is for us to digitize the operations of the group so we can improve our capability of gathering data that and utilizing information for a more effective delivery of health care,” he added.