Spinal surgery is now more accessible, more efficient and less stressful with Mediclinic’s Care Expert programme.

The condition of your spine can be the difference between living a full, active life or being severely incapacitated. Most patients require a conservative approach to spine care, e.g., mobility therapy (physio or chiropractics). But some will need surgery under the care of a professional medical team  made up of either a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon or both; a surgical assistant; anaesthetist; physiotherapist; nursing coordinator; and care providers. In some instances  a physician is also required, either pre- or postoperatively.

Not surprisingly, this team-based approach can necessitate a lot of cost coordination, potentially causing stress and confusion for the patient. Mediclinic has addressed this through the Care Expert spinal surgery programme, which offers a bundled, global fee for the key providers needed to provide safe patient care. This ensures you have the most seamless, efficient experience possible and are supported every step of the way.

What Is Care Expert?

The Care Expert programme is a value-based, integrated care model that promotes better outcomes and performance, while containing costs to make care more accessible and affordable – and outcomes are highly reliable and sustainable, says Dr Basil Bonner, Mediclinic Clinical Product Development Manager FRC.

Care Expert allows your scheme to pay for the hospital and surgical costs of your spinal operation as a whole – the only healthcare providers not included in the package are the physio and anaesthetist. “The product is driven by a funding model (global or bundled fee) that ensures administrative efficiency for all providers and funders,” Dr Bonner explains.  

Point of contact

Having spinal surgery is daunting in itself, so the last thing you want is the stress of not knowing what to expect or who to call when you have questions. As a Care Expert patient, you’re accompanied on your journey by a dedicated Care Expert Navigator to guide you through the care process.

Reduced red tape

Care Expert also takes out much of the red tape when applying for medical aid authorisation. Why? Because it eliminates the possibility of unforeseen costs. “The funding model includes all surgeon and hospital costs,” says Dr Bonner. “This ensures providers are reimbursed through an automated model, making for much greater efficiencies.” The only additional funding required is for the anaesthetist and physio, who have their own agreed tariffs with funders.

Can I access Care Expert for my spinal surgery?

This depends on the type of spinal surgery you’re having, which medical aid you’re with, and at which hospital your operation will take place. “Care Expert covers elective uncomplicated cases,” explains Dr Bonner. “This includes spinal procedures such as cervical neck fusions or arthroplasty, lumbar spinal fusion, and lumbar laminectomy decompressions. The product will only be offered where schemes have bought into the Care Expert model, and at those hospitals where specialists have contracted and the product is embedded. This ensures optimal operational delivery.”

If you’re having a spinal procedure, speak to your GP about whether you’re eligible for the Care Expert programme – it could make the experience a lot simpler for you.