PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Lebanon 2019 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

With the insurance market becoming increasingly saturated, GlobeMed is moving toward wellness and prevention to reduce costs and improve the customer experience

Joseph AbouChacra
BIOGRAPHY
Joseph AbouChacra was appointed General Manager of GlobeMed Lebanon in 2018. Prior to joining GlobeMed Lebanon, he was Deputy General Manager and Chief Operations Officer at Medgulf Insurance and Reinsurance Company. He also worked in conjunction with Medgulf Insurance Company PLC in Amman as the General Manager. He worked on diverse and distinctive responsibilities in directing and controlling all business activities of the company in Lebanon, building and leading professional teams, and contributing to the achievement of corporate objectives, to name a few. He earned an executive MBA degree from the Ecole Superieure du Commerce de Paris and a bachelor’s degree in insurance science from Saint Joseph University in Beirut.

What have been the major highlights for GlobeMed Lebanon?

In 1991, GlobeMed started its operations in Lebanon as a third-party administrator (TPA). We were the first TPA in the country. Throughout the past 28 years, GlobeMed was all about improving healthcare services for the benefit of the insured across the region, revolutionizing the industry with the same visionary approach that has helped us become the best at what we do. Our business has evolved from a traditional claims processing model to a “managedcare" strategy helping individuals to lead healthy lifestyles and assisting patients with chronic disease to better monitor their condition. GlobeMed helped insurance companies to develop the Perpetual Plan in 1995, one of the first insurance products that people could acquire for a lifetime, a true milestone in the health insurance sector. In 1999, GlobeMed launched the first online portal for healthcare providers to process claims and create what is known today as the electronic claims system, a pioneering step that was followed with many other achievements that shaped our journey and redefined the standards of managing healthcare insurance in Lebanon. In acknowledgement of the group's excellence and professionalism, the sector's specialists had honored GlobeMed with the prestigious Medical Administrator award at the World Health Tourism Congress in 2014, the TPA of the Year by the Middle East Insurance in 2015, the best TBA at the MENA IR Insurance Awards in 2017, and Claims Management Services Provider at the MENA IR Insurance Awards in early 2018. These tributes challenge us to further excel and innovate.

Which sectors do you cover, and how do you intend to expand?

The company continues to expand and grow; at present, we proudly serve 35 clients, both in the private and public sectors through a diversified portfolio of insurance companies, and selffunded and social health insurance schemes. We have successfully expanded our insurance portfolio to more than 270,000 members in 2019. Among our new customers who benefit from our services and solutions is Cigna International Health Services Company. GlobeMed Lebanon was selected once again to manage the healthcare services of Electricité du Liban's (EDL) Beirut employees and their families as well as our cooperation with the Beirut Bar Association. Another great achievement is our partnership with the Children Cancer Center in Lebanon, which will help the center regulate the treatment costs for children, enabling them to better manage funds to treat as many ill children as possible. GlobeMed Lebanon has successful experiences serving different sectors whether private or public, local or multinational, such as serving UNHCR for Syrian refugees in 20142015 and serving the Ministry of Health across Lebanon as part of the audit and health and hospitalization claims in 2017-2018.

What are the main trends and challenges in Lebanese healthcare, and how does GlobeMed tackle these issues?

Healthcare and healthcare delivery are excellent sectors in Lebanon. We have excellent facilities and personnel, providing patients the best quality of care and making use of the latest technologies and medications. The problem we face is the cost of healthcare versus what people can afford. GlobeMed Lebanon has come a long way in managing healthcare benefits, both in Lebanon and the region, where we have succeeded in providing services and solutions that satisfy the needs of our clients. GlobeMed has continuously worked to find ways to address these challenges and push the healthcare sector. Additionally, to expand our coverage, we are moving toward wellness and prevention to reduce costs, and improve the quality of life and customer experience. This is a key element, given that the insurance market is getting increasingly saturated, and the private healthcare industry is heading into a fierce competition. We are witnessing a remarkable growth in mutual funds, which used to cover a small share of the insured population. As a result, investment in health prevention is key and is in line with our commitment to the global wellness trends shaping the health industry today, as consumers seek to ensure healthy lives for as long as possible. We are shifting toward preventive healthcare rather than disease management, which requires us to grow our health coverage benefits to encompass preventive health tests and programs.

What are your goals for 2019?

GlobeMed Lebanon has launched an innovative solution that not only helps clients adopt a healthier lifestyle but is also a valuable selfservice tool that allows clients to manage all matters and details related to their insurance coverage. Called GlobeMed Fit, the app can be used by existing GlobeMed clients and all Lebanese. The app combines four sections within one control panel: fitness, nutrition, health, and insurance. It is well suited to the Lebanese public, taking into account their dietary habits. It also includes a section on health that allows users to record tests and examinations, while reminding them of times and dates they will need to take their medication as well as managing their insurance benefits.