Situation on the health market
The health market is a dynamically developing and prospective business area. Experts from PMR1, dealing with market research and analyses in Central and Eastern Europe, expect that in 2021-2026:
- the growth rate of private health insurance will reach the average annual level of approx. 8.6% for supplementary health insurance and approx. 7.8% for subscriptions;
- the average annual growth rate of the fee for service market will be 7.6%.
In addition, the following is expected:
- further intensive development of telemedicine and service opportunities through remote channels;
- increasing number of persons outside working age and greater need to provide care to senior citizens;
- increasing public awareness of prevention and periodic examinations;
- persistently high inflation of medical services, in particular due to wage pressures from medical staff.
According to PMR2, the private health care offered under fee-for-service products at the end of 2020 was worth PLN 16.7 billion (down 20.7% y/y). The value of medical subscriptions reached PLN 5.10 billion (up 0.4%), while the value of private health insurance was over PLN 0.9 billion (up 3.8% y/y).
The coronavirus pandemic and the various forms of restrictions introduced during the subsequent waves of COVID-19 keep affecting the capacity to provide medical services and result in postponing patient appointments and procedures until unspecified dates.
The main area that gained importance in connection with the development of the COVID-19 pandemic was telemedicine. It enabled the provision of medical services despite the restricted access to clinics and thus reduced the loss of patients by outpatient centers. On the one hand, the intensive development of telemedicine may impact the price growth rate which, in the longer run, may have an adverse impact on the nominal growth rate of the private medical care market. On the other hand, it may have a stabilizing effect on the cost side.
According to PMR, medical inflation will be an important factor affecting the value of the private medical care market in 2021-2026. The previous trend of growing prices will be maintained in the coming years and its pace will be even higher. This is why the above aspects will be particularly important for the prices of outpatient care and physician services. PMR expects that the macroeconomic situation will improve, which may provide a favorable impulse for further development of all segments of the medical service market. Gradual improvement of the condition of businesses should contribute to increased interest in private medical care in the form of employee benefits. The private medical service market may be still driven by greater household consumption which will be one of the most important factors improving the growth rate of the value of the whole market.
On 1 July 2021, the National Health Fund abolished admission limits on outpatient specialist care. This abolition has enabled a significant increase in the number of admissions and in the volume of outpatient specialist care services provided in PZU Zdrowie’s own facilities operating under contracts with the National Health Fund.
1 PMR's report, ”Private healthcare market in Poland 2021 - Market analysis and growth forecast for 2021-2026”
2 PMR's report, ”Private healthcare market in Poland 2021 - Market analysis and growth forecast for 2021-2026”
Activity and product offering
The Health Area has become an integral part of PZU Group’s business model in 2014. Operations associated with the development of medical services are among the most significant growth areas of the PZU Group. As at the end of 2021, the Group had 3 million in-force health contracts.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the value of revenues in the health business increased significantly, reaching the level of nearly PLN 1.2 billion.
The operating model in the Health Area supplements and expands PZU’s insurance offering. The PZU Group’s activities in the Health Area include:
- sales of health products in the form of insurance (life and health insurance; and non-life health insurance);
- sales of non-insurance products (occupational medicine, group and individual medical subscriptions, partnerships and prevention programs);
- development of proprietary, uniform-standard medical infrastructure (medical centers and patient service solutions) to ensure the best access to services and the achievement of revenue targets.
Additionally, in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine infrastructure was significantly developed through the establishment of the PZU Zdrowie Telemedicine Center. The provision of services under this model enabled PZU Zdrowie clients with constant access to medical consultations.
The broad range of health products is adapter to the segment’s and client’s needs
The medical care model is focused on keeping up the good health of clients, providing a broad range of prevention measures and screening tests and on promoting healthy lifestyles.
Development of the non-insurance health offering of PZU Zdrowie
In 2021, PZU Zdrowie continued taking steps aimed at developing its group and individual medical care offering to make it even more responsive to the needs of its key beneficiaries and to strengthen PZU Zdrowie’s competitive edge in terms of offering and brand in the private medical care sector.
Actions taken with a view to developing the offering and providing support to sales structures in 2021 included:
- based on the experience gained in connection with the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, the presence of telemedicine services in the product offering became even stronger. Access to telemedicine consultations became a standard solution in the roster of medical care services offered in the market;
- the Occupational Telemedicine project was launched to expand the list of telemedicine services with the option to provide occupational medicine examinations remotely. The objective of the project is to create centers providing occupational medicine services with access to both diagnostic and specialist tests and the assessment of fitness for work using the possibilities offered by modern telemedicine;
- a roadmap of scheduled tenders for the coming years was prepared in order to increase the chances of winning a contract by preparing early and thoroughly enough;
- work was launched to implement a comprehensive product system in PZU Zdrowie to improve the process of calculation and preparation of product proposals;
- a new reimbursement option for subscription and insurance clients was implemented under the name of Refundacja Twój Wybór (“Your Choice” Reimbursement). In this option, the patient is entitled to a quarterly expense limit within which he or she will be reimbursed for each service provided;
- the assumptions and process were also developed for riders covering:
- night-time and holiday general practitioner assistance in Warsaw,
- on-line first aid training courses;
- an option to issue an Employee Health Report was implemented. This solution is dedicated to strategic clients, based on a detailed analysis of claims data;
- in terms of partnerships with PZU Group companies, work was launched on rolling out offerings for:
- Alior Bank’s business customers (new product – cooperation with PZU),
- PGE’s customers (new product – cooperation with TUW PZUW),
- ENEA’s customers (new product – cooperation with TUW PZUW),
- PGNiG’s customers (modified product – cooperation with TUW PZUW).
Development of the insurance health offering of PZU Zdrowie
PZU Zdrowie, in addition to offering its own health products, acts as a medical operator handling PZU Życie insurance products. In 2021, PZU Zdrowie completed the following endeavors:
- On 24 May 2021, pilot sales of the PZU Życie Medical Care for Individual Clients offering was launched, in two optional ranges of medical services: Standard and Comfort. In accordance with the assumptions of the pilot sales project, the offering is available to clients who have entered into individual insurance contacts based on a standard risk assessment procedure;
- On 20 September 2021, sales of the PZU Support in Life and Health offering began through several sales channels, including Multiagencies. This offering features a flexible structure, enabling each client to purchase exactly the protection he or she needs for the premium the client is willing to pay. Moreover, within the framework of a single policy, clients may purchase broader access to private medical care services for insureds aged between 18 and 59 or preventive medical testing for clients aged between 60 and 69. This offering enables the purchase of a health insurance bundle based on a profile of the client’s specific insurance needs;
- On 20 September 2021, sales of a new version of the Continuation for You Plus offering launched, intended for the clients under 59 years of age holding the right to individual continuation of insurance that began under a group life insurance contract. The Continuation for You Plus product is based on 3 distinct client needs: Protection, Health, and Protection and Health combined. Each of them has 3 options: Only for Me, For Me and My Spouse/Partner, and For My Family. Among the modifications made to this offering was an extension of the insurance cover to include medical services in the field of basic preventive medical testing.
Activities completed in 2021 in furtherance of the development of the health area
Development of medical infrastructure
- in response to the growing demand for medical services in all business lines, the number of cooperating physicians in the Group’s own network increased to over 2,400 (from 2,200 at the end of 2020);
- NZOZ Grupa Medical (imaging diagnostics center in Grójec) was acquired;
- investment processes aimed at opening 3 new own (greenfield) centers in 2022 (in Łódź and Kraków) and at relocating and expanding 2 centers in Gdańsk and Kraków were launched;
- 24/7 on-duty general practitioner for patients in Warsaw;
- the scale of cooperation with the National Health Fund enlarged significantly owing to an increase in the number of patients admitted for care and services provided under outpatient specialist care arrangements (cue to the abolishment of admission limits since July 2021);
- new contracts with the National Health Fund for MRI examinations in Warsaw, Poznań and Wołomin were obtained for PZU Zdrowie’s Imaging Diagnostics network;
- in own centers in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań and Wrocław, the development of dental services proceeded, thus significantly increasing the scale of operations and the range of services offered.
- roll-out of robots to monitor the appointments made available by the centers and broker;
- development of laboratory diagnostics – establishment of over 600 Synevo sample-taking points;
- analytical support for the Ecosystem project and preparation of change backlogs for new functionalities;
- remote psychological care – a process was prepared and implemented to provide remote psychological assistance to parents of children with cancer (for PZU and PZU Życie vouchers sold);
- group psychological workshops – a series of workshops to support frontline workers (elimination of benefits) in the field of early intervention and recognition of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and in dealing with aspects of work related to the organization of assistance to accident victims and people suffering from chronic illnesses;
- organization of psychological support for staff members handling claims related to deaths – workshops in a form similar to group therapy held in groups of 4-5 people, moderated by a psychologist. Each group participated in four two-hour online meetings carried out based on a weekly timeframe. In total, 160 person-hours of workshops were delivered, attended by over 80 PZU Życie staff.
- roll-out of a new business line (November 2021) – subscriptions for individual clients;
- roll-out of 13 new prevention packages targeted at various health aspects, including rehabilitation, dietetics, diabetes and cancer;
- online sales up by 522% in December compared to January 2021 (370 thousand in December vs. 34.5 thousand in January);
- increase in sales of fee-for-service appointments by 969% in December compared to January 2021 (net of services provided in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and TPK).
2021 was also a year of intense project work aimed at developing technological functionalities for patients and building new lines of business.
mojePZU project in PZU Zdrowie
Development of the moje.pzu.pl portal and assistance functionality to support self-service and customer service:
- PZU Zdrowie’s offering for strategic partners - presentation of a customized sales offering on mojePZU, dedicated to customers of PZU Zdrowie’s business partners (such as bank customers). Through a dedicated link that is placed e.g. in a service application or on the partner’s website, customers are directed to a sales page;
- Native screens in the mobile app - adaptation of the mobile app to serve clients who have purchased a health product and intend to purchase a medical service provided within the PZU Zdrowie network. Development of optimized native screens adapted to mobile devices, departure from displaying responsive views;
- Arrangement of laboratory tests directly at the sample-taking point, stage 2 - logged-in clients may make appointments via the moje.pzu.pl website for laboratory tests directly for a sample-taking point of the service provider Synevo;
- Support for discounts on FFS services – an option to generate discount codes in the Assistance system and changes on the moje.pzu.pl website enabling the use of such codes in the process of purchasing medical services;
- Medical interview for clients that have not logged in – possibility of using an algorithm that will suggest the right doctor and show the initial diagnosis;
- Medical bundles – sales of individual medical bundles.
#Ecosystem project – Definition Stage
The project was aimed at providing solutions, content and products enabling the construction of a digital ecosystem containing data on health, habits and preferences of PZU Zdrowie’s current and potential clients (“Ecosystem”).
The execution of the project definition stage enabled the company to determine measurable financial and qualitative benefits that may be obtained following the roll-out of the Ecosystem and to create a work schedule for 2022-2023. Based on its knowledge about the client rooted in analyzing the client’s behavior and history of purchases, the Ecosystem will be increasingly more capable of offering personalized content and products tailored to the client’s specific needs.
#mojeZdrowie [#myHealth] project (development of the PZU Zdrowie Telemedicine Center)
- In 2021, the Telemedicine Center provided 5.5 times more services than in 2020 (225 thousand vs. 40 thousand);
- Every third teleconsultation for PZU Zdrowie patients was performed by physicians of the Telemedicine Center. In terms of the scale of services provided, it ranked as the 2nd PZU Zdrowie center, with physicians of 14 specializations and record-high customer satisfaction results: NPS at 63, CSS for physicians at 95%.
Development of innovative solutions
Growth of the MedTech and HealthTech market, accelerated by the pandemic, continued in 2021. In these circumstances, PZU Zdrowie monitored and tested out innovative solutions in patient care and operations, in particular:
- Artificial intelligence in stroke diagnostics – a pilot program for stroke recognition in computed tomography tests was continued in the PZU Zdrowie imaging diagnostics network, carried out in cooperation with BrainScan, a Polish start-up. This solution applies artificial intelligence algorithms to recognize strokes in computed tomography tests. This method supports the work of radiologist physicians and enables automatic detection of life-threatening lesions. Thanks to this solution, the time needed to prepare a description whenever a stroke is detected has been reduced from several hours to just a few minutes, which allows patients to be assisted quickly. This method reduces the likelihood of severe brain damage and increases the patient’s chances of survival;
- Therapy for insomnia – in cooperation with the MIT Enterprise Forum CEE PZU Zdrowie acceleration program, PZU Zdrowie ran a pilot project of the terapiabezsennosci.pl solution. Under the pilot project, 120 PZU Group employees participated in a medically certified, completely remote cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I);
- AI in Health Coalition – PZU Zdrowie became the chief member of the AI in Health Coalition. Within the framework of its activities, the Coalition aims to promote the use of artificial intelligence in the Polish health care system. Bringing together a group of experts and entities pursuing the ultimate objective of the well-being of patients, its ambition is to set directions for the development of the use of AI-based technologies in the sector. The Coalition aims to develop conditions that will enable the broadest possible use of solutions of this kind. At the same time, it highlights the significance of professional medical personnel, pointing to the supporting role of technology, which is to augment the treatment process rather than eliminate or diminish the role of a physician. In its activities, the Coalition gets involved in projects seeking to advance the digitization of the health care system, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Prime Minister. Under the auspices of the Coalition, PZU Zdrowie was a keynote speaker at the AI in Health Conference, presenting the potential of employing artificial intelligence in imaging diagnostics. In October, PZU Zdrowie participated in a hybrid meeting with the Ministry of Health on the e-Health Strategy and access to medical data. In November, PZU Zdrowie became a partner of the series of podcasts “Health in Conversation” devoted to the technological revolution in medicine, held by the Coalition in collaboration with the Polish Federation of Hospitals;
- Pilot run of a mobile app supporting the prevention of skin cancer – using a modern solution based on artificial intelligence and mobile technology, PZU is involved in a pilot project to support the prevention of skin cancer, with financial contributions from the prevention fund. The solution is based on a mobile app which, when installed on a smartphone, is capable of assessing the risk posed by a skin mark and, if necessary, support further observation or – in urgent cases – refer the user to a dermatologist. The testing procedure is very straightforward. All the user needs to do is download the mobile app, register and take a photo of skin lesions following the instructions provided by the app. Their assessment is generated immediately. This technological solution was created in cooperation with a team of dermatologists in compliance with the applicable clinical testing procedure. Its diagnostic analysis process employs algorithms that are based on machine learning and millions of photographs that have already been analyzed by this innovative solution over a span of several years. Each new photograph taken by a user is scrutinized for similarities with previously analyzed data. Each high-risk case is additionally verified by dermatologists. The pilot program currently in progress covers some 100 thousand people employed in companies cooperating with PZU;
- Autenti pilot project – a platform for the remote signing of documents and enabling the remote creation of qualified signatures within 10 to 20 minutes. The pilot project of the Autenti system provides selected (approx. 60) facilities cooperating with PZU Zdrowie with the ability to remotely create a qualified electronic signature (depending on the needs of PZU Zdrowie) and handle all documents exchanged between PZU Zdrowie and these facilities over the platform for 12 months.
PZU Zdrowie’s involvement in the promotion of health
- Compendium of information “You can control your life”
PZU Życie in cooperation with PZU Zdrowie prepared a compendium of knowledge on health and financial prevention entitled “You can control your life.” The publication was first published on 6 October 2021 during Congress 590. The compendium contains the most interesting conclusions from the “Survey of Poles’ life and health,” carried out in May 2021 on a sample of 1,500 Poles aged between 18 and 65. Moreover, it presents valuable tips and advice from experts in various fields for everyone willing to take specific actions for a healthier, longer and safer life for themselves and their family. In it, readers will also find pieces of valuable advice from a PZU Zdrowie dietitian, physiotherapist and psychologist. The compendium was part of the life and health campaign “Live long and happily,” carried out in cooperation with PZU Życie.
- Cooperation of PZU Zdrowie with the K.I.D.S. Foundation
PZU Zdrowie cooperates with the K.I.D.S. Foundation by supporting the organization in activities aimed at transforming children’s hospitals into more patient-friendly modern facilities. An example of this cooperation is the “Children’s hospital of the future” contest. The contest consisted of 11 categories. PZU Zdrowie took the patronage over one of them: the Innovation Center. The winner in this category was the Łódź Center for Molecular Diagnostics. The contest gala was held on 2 October 2021.
- Local activities of PZU Zdrowie medical centers
PZU Zdrowie medical centers are involved in the conduct of educational activities promoting healthy lifestyles and behaviors, held in their local communities.
Examples of such events include:
- Defibrillation Campaign held on 30 October 2021 in Kielce – representatives of the PZU Zdrowie facility in Kielce created a health zone for workshop participants;
- Health Town in Radom – employees of PZU Zdrowie centers in Radom organized their own health zone where residents were invited to check the composition of their bodies, posture defects or skin marks free of charge, and to check their blood pressure and glucose levels. The event took place on 19 August 2021;
- 3rd Good Path Run organized by Caritas of the Archdiocese of Gdańsk on 19 September 2021. PZU Zdrowie was a partner of the event – the purpose of which was to promote volunteerism and promote jogging not only among adults, but also among children and people with disabilities;
- Let’s Talk about Health – an outdoor meeting for women, which took place on 6 August 2021. PZU Zdrowie was a partner of the event attended by representatives of Kraków’s medical centers.
- Cooperation with the Iskierka Foundation
PZU Zdrowie is the sponsor of the onkorodzice.pl website. It is a knowledge base on children’s cancers that may be accessed by both the parents of sick children and representatives of the medical community. It aims to facilitate the exchange of experiences with other parents who have found themselves in a similar situation and to provide support in many areas related to pediatric oncology. The website was created by the Iskierka Foundation, which PZU Zdrowie also supports in other initiatives, including by promoting the Gold September – an initiative to promote September as a month of cancer awareness among children.
- Envio Tennis Cup 2021 tournament
PZU Zdrowie became the main sponsor of the tournament which took place on 10 July on the courts of the Tennis Arena Bydgoszcz. Agnieszka Radwańska and Dawid Celt held a training session for students of tennis schools and played an exhibition match with the winners of the full-day tournament. The Envio Tennis Cup 2021 (formerly the Kotewicz Cup) is one of the oldest tournaments for members of the business community and amateurs in Poland.
- 5th Patient Empowerment Congress
PZU Zdrowie was the main partner of the event. Congress participants discussed solutions that will be beneficial for the future of patients, including in terms of patient experience, modern technologies and effective education. Among the key thematic blocks of the Congress was “Medicine, Science and New Technologies.” PZU Zdrowie experts were also invited as keynote speakers at the Congress. The event was held place on 27-28 April 2021.
- Podcast “Health in Conversation,” or about new technologies in medicine
PZU Zdrowie became the main partner of the podcast. The podcast consisted of 6 episodes of interviews with medical workers, startups, innovators, patient organizations, representatives of the general public and directors of medical centers on creating and deploying innovative solutions in the Polish health care system, with a particular focus on digital innovations. Its purpose was to popularize the application of innovative solutions among patients and the general public. It also featured presentations of specific implementations in the field of artificial intelligence. The first and last episodes of the “Health in Conversation” podcast were broadcast on 18 November 2021 and 26 January 2022, respectively.
PZU Health Services Management Center (CZUM) in Gdańsk
The job of the Health Ombudsman is to solve non-standard patient cases in the complaint process and disseminate knowledge about preventive health care. 100 articles were prepared in cooperation with the Health Ombudsman and other PZU Zdrowie experts. They are available in the Guide section on the pzuzdrowie.pl
Distribution and customer service
Health products – in the form of life & health and property insurance as well as non-insurance products – are distributed through virtually all sales channels of the PZU Group, including the corporate and agency network of PZU and PZU Życie and the sales network of PZU Zdrowie. The COVID-19 pandemic also contributed to an increase in sales through the digital channel of the mojePZU website where clients may choose from the new offering of prevention bundles and individual medical subscriptions as well as individual medical consultations delivered both in the form of teleconsultations and stationary appointments.
Development of the scale of operations of PZU Zdrowie
PZU Zdrowie cooperates with more than 2,200 partner centers in nearly 600 towns and cities in Poland. At the same time, it has been consistently developing its own network of 130 medical centers, among others in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Poznań, Katowice, Wrocław, Kraków, Częstochowa, Radom, Płock and Opole. It employs over 2,400 physicians in total. Initially, it was created by acquiring local health care service providers with extensive experience and a good reputation in the medical community. Currently, PZU Zdrowie is in the process of expanding the scope of its activities in the following two ways:
- by acquiring establishments enjoying a good reputation on the local market;
- through building greenfield medical centers, which makes it easier for the company to usher in uniform standards in terms of equipment and patient service in such facilities.
A patient can make a doctor’s appointment or an appointment for any other medical service provided by PZU Zdrowie through:
- self-service website mojePZU with access to the calendar of appointments of each center;
- PZU mobile app;
- 24/7 medical hotline.
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