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MedPay Unlocking OPD Sector s Value Through Technology

MedPay Unlocking OPD Sector s Value Through Technology

During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in India, there was a palpable sense of chaos as hapless people looking for healthcare services, such as online doctor appointments, diagnostic tests and medicine delivery, were pushed from pillar to post. Amidst that chaos, two young entrepreneurs, Ravi Chandra and Arun Bhatia, saw the opportunity to streamline the healthcare delivery system in the country. 

MedPay emerged as a timely solution in April 2020, giving a much-needed digital push to the Indian healthcare ecosystem. The Bengaluru-based startup’s API-powered Connected Care Network, an organised pan-India network of outpatient department (OPD) providers, currently comprises 35,000+ pharmacies, 15,000+ doctors, and 1,200+ laboratories in 24 states. Karnataka, Maharashtra and Delhi constitute the top three markets.

Although OPD services account for nearly 70% of India’s $370 billion healthcare spend, the sector has historically been fragmented and siloed, with dismal adoption of technology. “The immense value of the OPD segment can be unlocked for all stakeholders by leveraging technology-based solutions,” says Chandra, the Co-Founder and CEO of MedPay

“Traditionally, patients have been unable to get insurance coverage on OPD services because there is no organised, dedicated network of outpatient centres. Similarly, healthcare providers have been struggling to provide online services to customers, even those in the neighbourhood,” he notes.

MedPay’s ambition is to build India’s largest connected care network of outpatient centres (clinics, diagnostic centres and pharmacies) that will enable healthcare platforms to offer outpatient services at scale. Chandra underscores the significance of creating a robust, fast-growing network that brings together diverse stakeholders on a common platform.  

“The need of the hour is to organise the OPD segment and ensure that payers, providers, and patients have easy access to this network. India needs to connect the primary healthcare centres, pharmacies and diagnostic labs with the cashless insurance network in order to bring them into the digital economy,” he explains.

As an enabler for outpatient centres and healthcare platforms, MedPay is not in competition with e-pharmacies. The B2B platform, essentially, operates a two-sided marketplace that aggregates supply on one side and demand on the other. “Unlike e-pharmacies, which follow an inventory-based model, we are enabling nearby pharmacies to fulfil orders. This creates value to both the provider and patient,” says Chandra. Fast-growing healthcare platforms like Kenko, for instance, are leveraging the MedPay Connected Care Network to deliver outpatient services at scale.

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As far as expanding the scope of health insurance is concerned, MedPay collaborates with insurance companies and offers them an organised OPD network with the capability to process cashless claims. Insurers can integrate MedPay APIs on their respective user applications, which enables the insured to discover nearby providers and request for doctor appointments or home services. “MedPay seamlessly validates the eligibility criteria using the integrated APIs, providing a cashless experience to the insured,” adds Chandra. 

Currently, MedPay has more than 60,000 outpatient centres spread across 500+ cities, and 20 healthcare platforms on its Connected Care Network. Over the last two years, the startup has witnessed a huge demand from tier 2 and tier 3 markets across India, with more than 65% of its business coming from non-metros. “Earlier, the wait for online medicine delivery was four-five days for consumers in these markets. Also, it was not easy to find a trusted doctor or diagnostic centre online,” explains the entrepreneur. 

As MedPay continues to tap into this emerging segment of digital users, it not only provides customers with seamless hyperlocal health services, but also helps augment the repeat rate for its partner platforms. “The opportunities for growth in the current scenario are huge,” admits Chandra.

The startup is currently in talks with investors to fuel its growth plans in the near future.

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