One of the reasons why Bestmed remains one of the biggest open medical aid schemes is because we have some of the best value offerings in the industry. This is in terms of the benefits that members receive for the rand value of the medical aid subscription that they pay. Besides being a self-administered scheme, which brings down the cost of scheme administration, it is also because of the negotiation skills and passion of Bestmed’s Service Provider Department.
The Service Providers Department is made up of 12 trained professionals whose sole purpose is to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with medical professionals and service providers with the member in mind. They invite reputable service providers to the Bestmed network and negotiate the best rates to ensure that Bestmed members get the most out of their monthly contributions. They are responsible for onboarding over 4 200 family practitioners and a total of over 15 000 service providers spanning, general practitioners, specialists, hospitals, medical device manufacturers, nurses, surgeons, occupational therapists, pathology laboratories, pharmacies, birthing centres and rehabilitation facilities, among others. These are referred to as the Bestmed healthcare provider network, which includes designated service providers (DSP) or preferred providers (PP) depending on their specific field or the context at hand.
The reason why we create a network is to offer the best value for our members. When members adhere to Bestmed DSPs and PPs they will often find that they do not incur co-payments and deductibles because most, if not all of the fees they are charged will be within Bestmed’s Scheme rates. All conditions that qualify as prescribed minimum benefits are covered by the Scheme in full when members make use of Bestmed DSPs and network service providers and adhere to Bestmed guidelines, protocols and formularies all furnished in the Bestmed scheme rules.
This makes the Bestmed service provider network one of the largest in the industry and criss-crosses the nation to ensure that members always have a network provider nearby wherever they are in South Africa. This allows us to offer 5 value boosting options out of our 13 options. These include our capitation medical aid options such as Pulse1 and Pulse2 which offer unlimited consultations and hospital admissions at Pulse network doctors and hospitals.
The other 3 value options are called efficiency discount options (EDO). These are hospital and savings options which include Beat1 Network, Beat2 Network and Beat3 Network. They offer the same benefits as Beat1, 2 and 3 options, however, members who select these options can only use Bestmed network service providers. Using the Bestmed network providers allows the Scheme to control the claims expenses, which, in turn, allows us to offer our members the EDO options at a discounted rate on their subscriptions.
Voice of the Patient
The service provider department is also responsible for making sure that the Bestmed service provider network includes the best service providers which will give Bestmed members the best possible care during the hardest times in their lives and the lives of their families. All members and dependants who visit a family practitioner and those who are admitted into hospital are invited to complete a customer satisfaction survey to ensure. We call these Voice of the Patient surveys and they allow members to give us feedback on their experiences. This valuable input helps us to identify areas of improvement in our network and ensure that our members are well taken care off and that they are receiving the best possible treatment every time they visit one of the medical professionals in our network.
Bestmed is run by members for members and that makes it easy for us to put our members first and to look out for their best interests in the decisions that we make as a Scheme. We aim to provide the best options for our members and offer them the best value that their money can pay for while keeping all our interactions Personally Yours.