A holistic approach to wellness

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With a mission to provide quality health care to Filipinos, with health plans designed to cover the distinct health needs of each patient, PhilCare successfully established a name for itself as one of the country’s leading health maintenance organizations (HMO).

Established in 1982, PhilCare is one of the pioneers in the HMO industry. Over the years, PhilCare grew and distinguished itself from its competition through a belief that “health is not just a quick-response to illnesses, but a state of overall wellness”.

“PhilCare prides itself for its various innovations in health care, including the advancement of holistic health care and wellness among Filipinos through PhilCare 360 and a technology-enabled customer experience,” Jaeger L. Tanco, president and chief executive officer of PhilCare, told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.

PhilCare 360, the company’s proprietary approach to health, aims to offer a more holistic view of wellness with programs that are made to help members maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage chronic illnesses. It features activities that include proper nutrition, workouts, stress management, and even smoking cessation.

“We offer a wide range of health care plans — from basic to comprehensive coverage to serve the different requirements of individuals, group, and enterprise accounts. Our extensive line of products covers hospitalization, outpatient and emergency health care needs across a nationwide network of hospitals, clinics and physicians,” Mr. Tanco said.

As a member of Maestro Holdings, the largest nonbank financial institution in the country, PhilCare is affiliated with some of the country’s biggest financial institutions — PhilFirst, the first domestic non-life insurance company in the country; PhilLife, a leading insurance provider; and PhilPlans, one of the leading financial solutions companies providing pension, education, and memorial plans.

The company’s unique position and approach to health allows it to tackle issues present in the country’s wellness through a different perspective. Through the recently conducted PhilCare Wellness index, a groundbreaking and proprietary study aiming to quantify Filipinos’ sense of well-being as individuals, PhilCare has gathered new insights into the country’s general health. 

“The study was the first of its kind; it gained much media attention but more than that, it enabled us to get to know our clients better. The data we have gathered provided the backbone for the many innovations we have launched in the past years such as our prepaid health cards, PhilCare 360, our eCommerce site and HeyPhil — our downloadable app designed to provide fast and reliable health service to our clients,” Mr. Tanco said.

“PhilCare has continuously worked to provide quality health care that is within the reach of more Filipinos. Sadly, we are faced with the reality that only a small percentage of the population have access to health care insurance or programs, but we believe that PhilCare can do more,” he added.

It is this desire to give more that brought about the existence of the company’s many innovations, among which are PhilCare Snap and HeyPhil.

PhilCare Snap, the company’s membership cards, were designed to make hospital transactions faster, more efficient, and almost paperless as it uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. HeyPhil, a mobile app that functions as a cognitive voice assistant, seeks to conveniently provide members with medical assistance using artificial intelligence no matter where or when. Designed under the philosophy of PhilCare 360, HeyPhil is complete with a variety of features for a healthy lifestyle, including a BMI and calorie calculator, member’s information and benefits preview, and PhilCare exclusive rewards.

Mr. Tanco said: “While we certainly devote a lot of time and thought into being competitive in the industry, we have consciously tried to be proactive rather than reactive. All this we were able do because we listen to our partners and our clients. We always try to find better and smarter ways to do things. We do not get tired of improving our processes and creating new health programs that are relevant to our clients and partners. I want to believe that we don’t merely keep up but set the tone in innovations.”

The quest for the country’s well-being is a daunting one, and PhilCare is just beginning. PhilCare SVP for Sales and Marketing Christian Cristobal said, “Our desire to provide quality health care within the reach of more Filipinos always guides us in everything that we do. This has already brought us to launching innovative health solutions like the first pre-paid health cards in the market today. Because of this too, technology is now a core proposition in our client servicing; giving birth to our mobile app, eCommerce and social media sites.”

“Five years down the line, we will still do what we are doing — innovating and creating. The opportunities in technology and social media are something we will continuously pursue,” he added. — Bjorn Biel M. Beltran

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