(CNS Business): British Caymanian Insurance Company (BritCay) will not cover patients to attend Health City Cayman Island for any treatment unrelated to cardiac care. In a memo sent to people who are insured by the agent that represents Colonial Medical Insurance, the firm said it wanted to review all the services that the hospital now provides and check prices before it will cover patients to be treated for anything unrelated to pre-authorised heart treatment. Health City, which was not warned about the decision, said it was concerned that issues “other than patient welfare” were behind the decision, leading to negative impacts on patients.
In the correspondence to its clients, many of whom do not have a choice in their insurance cover as it is part of a group employment plan, BritCay said it must “ensure that all services provided at the Health City Cayman Islands facility are compliant with our contractual requirements”.
Undermining one of the purposes of the government’s partnership with the specialist tertiary care hospital to reduce the need for people to go overseas for treatment, BritCay also encouraged its clients to do just that.
“When certain services are not available locally, you, our member, can access one of the most comprehensive provider networks in the US. The network utilised is a premier, accredited US national preferred provider organisation (PPO) network with over 723,000 participating physicians and 6,400 hospitals,” the insurance firm stated, adding that it would “take us some time” to deal with the clearance for treatment at the East End hospital founded by Dr Devi Shetty.
“Any services outside of cardiac-related procedures will not be eligible for benefits, unless it is deemed emergent and pre-certification/authorization has been obtained,” the insurance firm said, adding that only scheduled pre-certified procedures organised before 1 April would be covered at Health City.
Surprised by the insurance firm’s decision, Health City said the decision by BritCay to limit services was made unilaterally by the company and the hospital was not informed before the notice was sent to its customers.
“Unfortunately, this raised questions in some patients’ minds regarding the standards and quality of service at Health City Cayman Islands,” said Dr Chandy Abraham, CEO & Director of Medical Services, at the hospital.
The doctor said that Health City provided service of the highest standard to all patients.
“We are the only medical facility in the Cayman Islands that has third-party verification of our quality in the form of our accreditation by the Joint Commission International (JCI). The high standards of our service can be clearly seen by the successful outcomes achieved as well as the affinity our patients hold for Health City,” he added.
Dr Abraham said the facility was fully compliant with every government-imposed regulation, evidenced by the Health Practice Commission (HPC) accreditation of it services.
“Our first concern with regard to the announcement by BritCay has been the health and safety of our patients,” he said. “The policy decision by BritCay appears, in our opinion, to be driven by considerations other than patient welfare and could have a negative impact on patients with regard to convenience, ancillary expenses, and the safety of their health.”
He said that HCCI is in contact with BritCay and he was hoping for “above board and transparent negotiations” ahead.