Spinal surgery is now available on Mediclinic Care Expert – an integrated service line specific package that provides financial certainty, as well as a measured enhanced patient experience while receiving outcomes-measured quality care. 

The condition of your spine can be the difference between living a full, normal life or being severely incapacitated – but spinal surgery requires a team of medical professionals, each with their own cost attached. “A spinal surgery team comprises either a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon or both, with a surgical assistant,” explains Dr Basil Bonner, Clinical Product Development Manager at Mediclinic Southern Africa. “The anaesthetist and physiotherapist work with the surgical team to drive efficiency but have separate contracting arrangements with the schemes.” The care process is complex with key interventions and healthcare professionals involved. Now with Mediclinic’s Care Expert spinal surgery programme, you get all the care you need conveniently bundled into a single package. And you only have to deal with one point of contact, ensuring you have the most seamless, efficient experience possible and that you’re supported every step of the way.

What Is Care Expert?

Care Expert is a tailored product that gives you the reassurance of an orchestrated multidisciplinary approach to spinal surgery.  The surgery is done at a set fee by the specialist and the hospital. Think of it like one of those meal-kit boxes – instead of buying all the ingredients for a recipe separately, you just buy the box, and it arrives with everything you need to make dinner – perfectly portioned and tailored to your needs. Similarly, with Care Expert, all the different aspects of your spinal surgery are bundled into one, so you can rest assured that all the care you need will be available to you when you need it.

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 Care Expert Navigator to guide you through the care process.

Reduced red tape

Care Expert also takes out a lot of the red tape when applying for medical aid authorisation for your operation. Why? Because it eliminates the possibility of unforeseen costs. “The funding model includes all surgeon and hospital costs. This ensures providers are reimbursed through an automated model, making for much greater efficiencies,” says Dr Bonner. The only additional funding required is for the anaesthetist and physiotherapist, 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 is going to 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 agreed to the Care Expert model, and only at 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 doctor about whether you’re eligible for the Care Expert programme – it could make the experience a lot simpler for you.