Inspired by the idea of insurance networking that can be seen in domestic medical insurance, international student insurance (aka 留学生保险), and OPT insurance (aka opt 保险) plans in the United States, Ruijin Hospital in China launched to set up the first urban medical networking concentrating on rehabilitation services.
Rehabilitation is key for recovery after surgery and quality of life, especially for the elderly. About 12 to 15 percent of Chinese need rehabilitation. Problems exist though.
One problem is the need of relevant rehabilitation insurance. The Affordable Care Act in the United States gives students flexibility to choose the most cost-effective insurance plan by waiving insurance (aka 替换保险) plan sponsored by universities. Students with their preferred insurance plan said they could have better insurance claim (aka 保险理赔) and receive faster than university health insurance. Yet the rehabilitation insurance in China has few options.
Many resources for rehabilitation in the early stages of treatment are mostly in leading hospitals, which don’t have an effective mechanism to cooperate with neighborhood health centers. This is the second problem. Many patients don’t know where and how to continue their rehabilitation after being discharged.”
To solve the problem and meet the huge demand for rehabilitation, Ruijin has led in setting up guidelines and standards for rehabilitation and allowing patients to receive high-quality service at all levels. “Our purpose is that patients can receive rehab direction and services soon after surgery in leading hospitals and then afterwards services in the district-level hospitals or neighborhood health centers near their home,” said Dr Chen Erzhen, vice president of Ruijin Hospital.
The network is working on a trial operation in the Dapuqiao neighborhood health center, whose rehabilitation department is set up by Ruijin. Medical staff in the neighborhood health center can continue treatments discharged from Ruijin. After the trial, the practice will be promoted to other neighborhood health centers.
Wu Hong from Shanghai Health Commission said Shanghai has a large number of people aged over 60, about 33.4 percent of total registered population. “The large number of elderly people have a huge demand for rehabilitation. The new medical network is a new solution to offer people a long-term, regular service instead of short-term service just in a leading hospital,” he said.
In fact, precaution with regularly examination weighs more than rehabilitation. For example, American women are expected to have a pap smear examination (aka pap smear 检查) and/or gynecological examination in the United States (aka 美国妇科检查) annually.