From stretcher to business class, chronic arthritis to successful hip surgery, continuous care costs to a durable treatment solution at cost savings – for Viola and her sponsor, Kenya’s National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Agile Global Health’s management transformed each challenge faced into a success worth celebrating.
If you’ve ever wondered how our astute coordination of the clinical, financial, logistical, and experiential dimensions of healthcare improves outcomes while reducing expenses, this story is for you.
Viola Kiplimo, 38, of Eldoret, Kenya was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1995, and underwent 15 subsequent major joint replacement surgeries in her country. When Viola’s 16th surgery – a right-side total hip replacement with acetabulum replacement and bone grafting – failed, her doctor advised that she seek care in India. She approached Agile.
“With Agile management and NHIF sponsorship, Viola traveled to Delhi, India for further treatment,” reported Zain Bashar, Agile’s Delhi Assistant Operations Manager. “Her surgeon at BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Dr. Mrinal Sharma, acknowledged that the total hip replacement revision he recommended would be very complicated due to her previous operations.” Nonetheless, through two surgeries, a period of bed rest, and a month of physiotherapy, Viola’s treatment succeeded. She was declared fit to fly home to Kenya – on a stretcher. But the expense of a stretcher journey was an impediment, and Dr. Sharma assessed that Viola would not be fit to return in business class without an additional six to eight weeks of daily physiotherapy.
Enter Agile’s Patient Services Manager Yashvi Mudgal and Coordinator Shweta Pandey. “We thought it might be less costly to extend Viola’s stay in Delhi as Dr. Sharma suggested, and then purchase a business class return, than to send her home immediately via stretcher,” said Ms. Pandey. Sure enough, this innovative care adjustment was much less expensive. And in addition to conserving NHIF resources, noted Ms. Mudgal, “We realized this arrangement added value for Viola, in terms of recovering near her treating physician and benefitting from additional physiotherapy, and for her surgeon, who could closely monitor her progress.”
Mr. Bashar presented the idea to Viola, while Ms. Pandey proposed the solution to the NHIF. Both enthusiastically accepted. “After six additional weeks of daily physiotherapy, she achieved the ability to sit for a long time and even walk short distances with a walker!” said Mr. Bashar. “This tremendous improvement was thanks to her own determination and her Indian care team’s prolonged oversight.” With medical clearance from Dr. Sharma and the airlines, Viola returned to Kenya in business class.
“Insurers, third party administrators (TPA), and corporations are interested in Agile’s ability to deliver cost-effective care that works fully the first time. That means access to treatment as fast as possible, but also close patient management so that discharge and return travel occur at the ideal moment: the earliest that also optimizes recovery and healing levels,” said Ankur Gupta, Agile’s Delhi-based National Manager and Director for India. “Agile, by providing better value to hospitals, better values to healthcare funders, and exceptionally better service and medical outcomes to patients like Viola, is radically disrupting the existing healthcare system! This case epitomizes our mantra of the right care at the right time at the right price.”
And what of Viola’s future? “She is continuing hospital physiotherapy in Eldoret, where Agile recently visited her,” said Linner Soy, Viola’s local Care Consultant. “We will continue to follow up with her to sequence additional surgeries in India, as Dr. Sharma advised that all joints affected by her arthritis could not be operated on in one trip. But Viola is a happy client and dedicated to her treatment. Agile will continue to be with her on her journey!”
In the photograph above: Agile patient Viola Jemeli is visited by her Agile’s Marketing Executive Cornelius Rop (left) and Care Consultant Linner Soy (right) in her hometown of Eldoret, Kenya, where after a hip replacement revision in India she is continuing her physiotherapy.
In the photograph below: From left to right, Agile’s Delhi Operations Officer Zain Bashar, Dr. Mrinal Sharma of BLK Superspecialty Hospital, Agile’s patient Viola Kiplimo, and her companion Charity Keino are all smiles as they celebrate Viola’s successful hip replacement revision surgery.
Agile Global Health
Agile Global Health (operating as A&K Global Health in select countries) is an Agile Health Systems company and a worldwide leader in realizing transparent, affordable, effective and innovative solutions to complex healthcare delivery challenges. We listen to local and national healthcare leaders in every country where we work, and then support their vision to improve their national health system’s accessibility, quality, and clinical outcomes. For patients, we connect you with the right care for your needs, from facilitating quality local and regional treatment to coordinating international medical travel; for healthcare funders and providers, we optimize your organizational impact by introducing transparency, control and customization to the medical, financial and experiential aspects of your clients’ medical journey. Contact us today to learn how we can support you.