My 3 big things for 2022

Dr Lungi Nyathi

My 3 big things for 2022

Alignd CEO, Dr Lungi Nyathi, is excited about the year ahead for Alignd, and for value-based palliative care. Here’s why…

“Without this care [through Alignd], things would be very difficult for my mom and us – the support for the family is particularly valuable. It’s given us all the strength to carry on. If anyone has serious cancer, they should ask for a palliative care referral.”

This is from the daughter of an Alignd patient who has lung cancer. And she’s right. If anyone has serious cancer, they should ask for a palliative care referral, from the time of diagnosis.

I would also argue they shouldn’t have to ask: their doctors should refer them for a palliative care discussion on diagnosis of a serious illness, and let patients know there is an extra layer of care and support available to them and their family.

Walking the cancer journey from the very beginning of its progression with a palliative team enables the greatest positive impact – on the patient, and on their family.

And positive impact is what Alignd is about, and it’s why I’m thrilled – and fired up – to be CEO of this company.

Alignd’s mission from the start, and going into 2022, is to foster, promote and enable the delivery of affordable, quality palliative care starting in the private sector. Our approach aligns the incentives of all stakeholders – patients, healthcare providers and medical schemes – to deliver value-based healthcare, with the patient at the centre.

So, my 3 big things for 2022 in the palliative care space? Improve patients’ experience and outcomes, help schemes improve the financial value they provide and give palliative care providers a solution that allows them to offer their expertise more widely. Here’s how:

For patients: Patients with serious cancer consistently report finding more comfort and support with a palliative care trained team on their side than without it. With better all-round care, symptom management, and a comprehensive and holistic home-based care plan in place, patients are less likely to require emergency services, hospitalisation and ICU stays. Alignd offers a model that gives patients access to expert care and support to those who need it as soon as they need it. Family members – so often neglected in the cancer journey – are more supported too. Navigating the healthcare system at this very emotional time is difficult and overwhelming, and our care partners and providers guide and support all along the way.

We help build trust between funders and those on the frontline delivering care, enabling co-ordinated care and teamwork in a fragmented system, and fair reimbursement to palliative care practitioners

When forward-thinking, patient-centred medical schemes partner with Alignd, their members can access this extra layer of care at no additional cost to the patient. To date, almost a million South African’s have been able to access this ongoing, quality palliative care as part of their health plan cover, because their medical schemes partnered with Alignd.

For healthcare funders: Currently, most serious illness care, as well end-of-life care, is hugely expensive in the final stages of a patient’s life. Alignd has developed a solution that helps funders to pay for the care and healthcare provision in a way that offers quality and is cost-effective. Funders are starting to understand that the settings of care, having the correct providers providing the required care, and the coordination of that care is of utmost importance in managing the cost of care. The Alignd Benefit aligns all the incentives of patients, healthcare providers and schemes to deliver true patient-centred, value-based healthcare in these complex cases.

For healthcare providers: Current contract mechanisms and benefit design do not incentivise team-based care within the community. In patients with progressive serious illnesses this results in frequent hospitalisation and fragmentation of care.

The design of our contracts between funders and providers offers a new way to pay for healthcare. We help build trust between funders and those on the frontline delivering care, enabling co-ordinated care and teamwork in a fragmented system, and fair reimbursement to palliative care practitioners for the highly skilled services they provide.

It’s a win-win-win, right? Watch this space in 2022.

And if any medical schemes want to find out how they can partner with us, if palliative care practitioners want to join our network, and if patients think they could benefit from Alignd’s extra layer of care and support, email info@alignd.co.za

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