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A government committee will be set up to examine the management of integrated shield plans, panel of doctors

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SINGAPORE: Health Minister Gan Kim Yong will appoint a committee to look at issues related to integrated shield (IP) plans, including the question regarding the doctors on the insurer panel.

In a Facebook post on Saturday (April 3), Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon said he had met with representatives of the Singapore Medical Association (SMA), Association of Singapore on Wednesday. Life Insurance (LIA) and the Singapore Academy of Medicine. discuss improvements to the configuration and administration of IP panels.

All parties agreed to formalize an existing pro-tem committee into a committee appointed by Mr. Gan.

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“The committee will move the work forward and work in the interest of the public and patients to deliberate and implement changes for quality, safe, cost-effective and affordable care for all,” said Dr. Koh.

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DOCTORS, “SPARRED” INSURERS ON IP PANELS

Doctors and insurers recently “argued” over the issue of IP panels, noted Dr Koh.

Integrated protection plans consist of two parts: a MediShield Life component managed by the Central Provident Fund Council and additional benefits offered by private insurers.

In a March 29 position paper, SMA said insurers had formed “highly exclusive” medical panels that excluded many private specialists.

SMA also said there was “opacity” in the selection criteria for doctors to be included as preferred providers on panels.

The association also called on authorities to “institute cost discipline among IP insurers” and ensure that premiums collected are directed towards health costs and “are not wasted on non-health items. “.

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In response, the LIA, which represents insurers, said there were cases of “over-treatment” by medical providers. He also said SMA’s analysis of insurer costs and claims costs was “misleading”.

In a subsequent April 2 statement, the LIA said insurers have since expanded their panels and will continue to do so, with current IP panels ranging from 250 to 400 private specialists.

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On Saturday, Dr Koh said: “Both sides made valid points on areas that needed improvement, but also expressed views that do not properly reflect the trade-offs and balance needed to ensure sustainability. the premium for insurance plans and the supply. longer-term, cost-effective health care. “

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He added that his discussions with all parties were “constructive” as they considered ways to work together for the benefit of patients.

“This includes expanding the panel of insurers’ doctors with clear and transparent criteria, as well as improving the process for pre-authorization of treatment requests, in particular by doctors who were not part of the panels. “said Dr Koh.

There were also several ideas on improving transparency on doctors’ fees and results, as well as on the performance of insurers.

More details on the committee and its proposed recommendations will be released when ready, Dr Koh said.

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