The permanent investment for the maintenance of medical plans of company professionals, already figures as the second highest payroll cost. One of the biggest wishes of Brazilians and the big benefit offered by employers, has generated headaches. This is due to the fact that readjustments far exceed inflation. According to the publication, Valor Econômico, the readjustment in the last 18 years was 382%, while inflation (IPCA) in the same period was 208%. The publication has treated the theme of the accumulation of readjustments, as complex and relevant.
Many reasons could be put forth regarding this subject, let us look at the following three relevant factors:
a) The permanent readjustment of Health Plans that is above inflation;
b) Being overweight and the issue of obesity, the second most important risk factor for the global burden of diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and;
c) The existence of new technological solutions – APPs, which contributes, in the prediction/to weight control and consequently to the quality of life, both personally and professionally.
II. IMPORTANCE OF POPULATION HEALTH MANAGEMENT – GSP
The importance of Supplementary Health in Brazil is undoubtedly great.
For this reason, health must be managed by all engaged actors in this broad ecosystem, with a lot of responsibility, quality, creativity and innovation. This requires knowledge and the ability to share this knowledge rapidly. This latter point is unavoidable and indispensable!
To justify this, we need only to mention the following three powerful associations in the Health segment:
- Brazilian Association of Health Plans (ABRANGE), which has been in existence for more than half a century;
- National Association of Private Hospitals (ANHAP), founded in 2001;
- Alliance for Population Health (ASAP), founded in 2012.
ANHAP and Interfarma, the Association of the Pharmaceutical Research Industry, have produced an interesting 40-page report on the facts and costs of healthcare, along with their interpretations. They state on p. 34, that:
“Operators should invest in prevention and better manage their beneficiary portfolios, guiding them in the proper management of their health.”
ASAP’s proposition aims to stimulate and promote the actions of the Health Management of the Population, the Gestão de Saúde Populacional or GSP.
It aims to contribute to the re-adaptation of the current model, centered on disease and service providers, to a model with na emphasis on health promotion and quality of life.
The GSP is an initiative that aims to transform the old, reactive, proactive model of disease that maps out at-risk populations, making predictions, and act by preventing disease and minimizing its impact. Instead of efforts being directed towards the treatment of diseases, the goal is for efforts to focus on diffusing the importance of health and self-care, empowering citizens through available technology and communication tools.
III. THE BIG PROBLEM OF OBESITY IN BRAZIL
In December of 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, the National Agency of Supplementary Health (ANS) released the Manual of Guidelines for Facing Obesity in Brazilian Supplementary Health.
The Manual is the result of a multidisciplinary workgroup led by the ANS, with the objective of promoting improvements and incentives in health care related to the prevention and fight against obesity among health plan beneficiaries.
The former ANS diretor, Karla Coelho, stated that:
“The ANS understands the discussion of the subject as urgent and necessary to the sustainability of supplementary health, since being overweight and obesity are the second most important risk factor for the global burden of diseases, and are associated with several chronic diseases, and non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cirrhosis, colon, rectum and breast cancer, among others. ”
It is a fact that the confrontation of obesity, as a result of a complex combination of biological, behavioral, socio-cultural, environmental and economic factors, represents a great challenge for the sector, according to the understanding of the ANS.
According to an annual Ministry of Health 2017 survey, almost 1 in 5 Brazilians, or 18.9% are obese and more than half of the population in the Brazilian capitals, 54.0%, are overweight.
Kátia Audi, also of ANS, stated that “it is known that obesity is a multifactorial disease, recurrent and often silent, and if not prevented and taken care of properly, has a devastating impact on the life of the individual as well as the economy of the country.”
IV. SOLUTION OF WEIGHT PREDICTION ARRIVES TO BRAZIL – APP / SINQUE
Currently one of our clients is a Dutch startup, who developed a solution called Sinque, which is a user-friendly and scientifically proven APP, that attemps to predict a person’s future weight, by learning the current weight of the individual, and intelligently projecting the weight in the next two weeks. It’s a new way of motivating and transforming weight prediction.
With the APP, it is possible to validate one’s effort, leading them on a healthier journey of prevention, and thus a better quality of life.
The numbers, values and problems arising from Supplementary Health in Brazil are very representative and their increasing management difficulties require robust studies and actions that consider the technical, legal and economic feasibility aspects of all the actors.
The rising costs of healthcare must be better managed by all. In my view, effective strategic planning, by the public and private sectors, government and private initiatives is inevitable.
Ary Silveira Bueno
ASPR – Your Management Company!
Translation by Dr. D’Arcy Dornan