Yuki Yu, Future Care’s Director of Asian Marketing, visited separately with claims executives in both China P&I Club’s headquarter office in Hongkuo, Shanghai and the American Club’s Shanghai officelast December.
Yuki discussed matters of concern with the claim executives of each Club, including high medical costs encountered in the United States and in a number of South American countries. Both Clubs’ executives also noted the high costs and lack of transparency in medical billing received from third party “middlemen” representing certain hospitals.
As a solution to the problem, Yuki explained the importance of having the Members’ captains notify Future Care’s 24/7 Contact Center immediately when a crewmember complains of illness or injury. This allows Future Care to steer the crewmember to one of its network facilities and manage both the treatment quality and the costs/hospital billing. Such initial notice to Future Care often will prevent the engagement of middlemen, who frequently place a guarantee of payment (GOP) with the hospital before the crewman is admitted. This GOP customarily will compel the hospital to submit billing solely to the intervenor, often preventing the Member or Club from receiving copies of the actual charges. These middlemen frequently assess a significant charge on top of the opaque medical billing for their “services”, submitted to and paid for by the shipowner and/or the Club.
Yuki also discussed having our P&I Club partners visit our global contact center in Beijing in 2020. Yuki extended an invitation to co-host events for the Clubs’ claim teams and Members. A possible topic for the event is health risks at sea, with Future Care and MedSea physicians sharing onboard medical case examples and claim data analysis.