An alarming article published in October 2016 by Human Resources Online states that employers are to face 17.3% expected increase in medical costs in Malaysia.
Providing healthcare in Malaysia may not be an option taken by all employers in Malaysia, but this is shortsighted on their end.
Many potential candidates will make the choice to join or stay in a workplace based on healthcare provisions, and it is simply the moral choice when it comes to keeping your employees well taken-care of.
A joint venture between IHM Group of Companies (Integrated Healthcare Management) and the founders of GetDoc Technologies, HealthMetrics takes on a more corporate angle on the whole healthcare issue, and makes it easier for employers to track their employees’ health.
As a quick overview, HealthMetrics:
Healthcare analytics has in other countries, been proven to reduce healthcare costs for employers.
According to Alvin Yuan, Managing Director of HealthMetrics, “Corporates are already paying so much for employee benefits yearly and it may not make economic sense for them to invest further that will ultimately affect their bottom line.”
“We provide a solution to corporates for free and provide new business traffic to clinics. And for every HealthMetrics user that visits a panel clinic, we charge a processing fee and that is essentially our revenue model.”
One of the key problems that HealthMetrics aims to solve is the hassle with MCs.
“Our real time digital MC has also changed how corporates are now managing their manpower allocation,” said Alvin. “Using an example, conventionally, if an employee is on MC for 3 days, the HR and the HOD would only receive the MC 3 days later when the employee turns up to work.”
“Through HealthMetrics, once treatment has been administered, doctors & clinics will be able to send a digital copy of the MC through the platform instantaneously. Corporates will be well informed that the employee is on MC and manpower replacements can be arranged immediately.”
While the information will be ready and available for HRs to see, they will still have to extrapolate the data themselves.
That being said, HealthMetrics aims to streamline that process so that all the information is ready and available for HRs to look into. They can look at the trends overall, or even zero in on a specific employee.
While they try to provide preferred rates whenever possible, they also aim to be the mediator so that both sides get a fair rate.
According to Alvin, “With the volume of unique patients we are bringing constantly to clinics, it will be a win-win situation for the clinics to provide preferred treatment rates.”
While getting on-demand real-time health information on employees is a relatively recent phenomenon in Malaysia, it already has been in practice overseas. Ethical issues have already been raised surrounding it.
Consistent health metrics may spell good things for an employer’s bottom line. But this could also open doors to discrimination of employees who are disabled, have mental illnesses, or even those with pre-existing medical conditions.
On one hand, there is some validity to these concerns.
Right now, most doctors do not disclose the reason behind the MC. But the ease of which trends are trackable (while a good method of exposing fradulent MC takers) might also backfire on employees who may need to take MCs from specialty clinics consistently, for example a psychiatry clinic.
To summarise, there’s a possibility that an employer might make questionable firing decisions based on the medical information they have on hand.
In general, personal data breach cases in Malaysia fall under PDPA and tend to go unenforced (with notable exceptions when it comes to doctor-patient confidentiality).
Therefore, disputes between employers and employees might side with the employer. It opens up the potential for disagreements from health tracking to turn things ugly.
That being said, while this issue is worth noting, it may not amount to much in organisations with tried-and-true SOPs. If you own a company and you’re interested in using HealthMetrics, perhaps consider getting some professional counsel on what can and can’t be done based on the data, to avoid any legal kerfuffles.
Feature Image Credit: HealthMetrics