A new sub-group carved out within Association of Medical Consultants hopes to achieve uniformity in the common operating practices as well as bring more nursing homes in the cashless network
The Association of Medical Consultants (AMC) aims to address the needs of the insurance sector and nursing homes by creating a group called Network of AMC Hospitals (NoAH). Out of the 1,500 nursing homes within the AMC fold, 217 have agreed to be part of AMC NoAH. This number is expected to grow to 300 by March 2013. These nursing homes will offer common billing format, common cashless authorisation format and display of key hospital tariffs.
One of the major issues for customers of medical services is the lack of transparency in the charges by nursing homes and hospitals as well as possible differential pricing if the customer is insured. AMC NoAH nursing homes will display the key tariff charges at the reception of the hospital for information of the patients. These charges would be levied across the board and shall not vary for insurance or non-insurance patients.
At the Bombay High Court hearing (12 February 2013) of the public interest litigation filed by social activist Gaurang Damani, the AMC was able to come up with indicative rates for 42 standard ailments with disclaimers about the rates excluding professional fees and surgeon fees, which may vary. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s (IRDA) legal representative agreed to review the documentation of rates prepared by the AMC.
AMC NoAH has tied up with Bajaj Allianz to offer its policyholders cashless facility in all member nursing homes. It will also offer 7.5% discount on the bill to the insured. Star Health and other insurance companies may tie-up with AMC NoAH. The progress to bring more nursing homes to be part of government insurance companies’ preferred provider network (PPN) has been at a snail’s pace. Even New India Assurance’s general manager who attended Moneylife Foundation’s recent mediclaim seminar agreed that progress is slow in Mumbai and Bangalore. Whether AMC NoAH can resolve the standoff between government insurers/TPAs (third party administrators) and nursing homes can only be known in future.
Another benefit for consumers will be that the AMC NoAH nursing homes will need compulsory accreditation from the group and hence standards will improve. The levels will be minimum, optimum and excellent. Currently, the accreditation is optional for AMC members. It is obvious that some AMC member nursing homes may not want to be part of self regulated group (AMC NoAH).
Consumers may ask what may be the possible reason for AMC NoAH to offer pro-customer initiatives. It could be the growing tendency for mediclaim policyholders and the rich class to utilize corporate (high-end) hospitals for simple fever, surgery of hernia/hydrocele/appendicitis that can be easily managed in a nursing home having two to 75 beds facility. AMC NoAH wishes to correct this anomaly. As per one AMC NoAH official, “There is excellent quality of doctors at small nursing homes.”
On 28 January 2013, The Times of India carried an article on Mumbai’s nursing homes shutting shop. It quotes a doctor who shut his nursing home stating “Nursing homes are no longer sought after due to the popularity of insurance. People want to go to hospitals that are generally better equipped.” With value-added services, transparency and uniformity in procedures, AMC NoAH may be taking the steps to reverse this trend which could be bleeding its business.
Supreme Infrastructure (one of our Street Beat picks) has posted good third quarter results, with strong sales and operating profit and got a good pipeline of orders during the third quarter. We had written about the stock when it was Rs290.80. It is now quoting at Rs205. As we had feared, is it cheap for a reason?
We had written about Supreme Infrastructure India (Supreme Infra), one of the leading infrastructure EPC companies in India, on 9 August 2012 (http://www.moneylife.in/article/supreme-infrastructure-concrete-realities/27732.html). Our article had clearly stated that “while its financial results make Supreme Infrastructure share an attractive buy at the current market price, investors should be cautious because there might be something in these numbers that we may not know and may turn out too good to be true.”
The company has reported impressive numbers despite the economy being sluggish for the greater part of 2012, especially during the third quarter ended December 2012. Supreme Infra reported 34% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in net sales for the three quarter ended December 2012, at Rs550.28 crore when compared to Rs410.59 crore for the same period last year. Net profit numbers is more impressive as it recorded a 43% y-o-y jump to Rs35.92 crore for the third quarter of the 2012-13 fiscal. And yet, the stock is sharply down.
The company has not only exceeded its own expectations but its track record is also quite impressive. It has been reporting extremely consistent sales figures, which have been growing at double digits every successive quarter without a negative one since September 2009. Its average three quarter y-o-y average is 33% while net sales for the December 2012 quarter grew at 34%. Even more impressive is its operating efficiency. Its operating profit track record is even more impressive, growing at double digits and not one negative growth quarter. Its three-quarter y-o-y average growth rate is 31% while operating profit clock 37% growth rate. Despite a high return on net worth (29%), its valuation remains ridiculously low, with market capitalisation barely over 1x operating profit (annualised).
The company managed to add Rs505.25 crore worth of orders during the December 2012 quarter. Some of them are:
The stock price closed at Rs205 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), down 2.29% for the day. As we had feared, the stock has disappointed despite excellent results and should be sold on the next rally.
Check here for all the company analysis that we do.
If you are interested in our stockletter segment, apart from Street Beat, then click here to subscribe.
Rangarajan said with the moderation in manufacturing or core inflation in January, there was a need to focus on the supply side easing of food articles
C Rangarajan, the prime minister’s key economic advisor, today hoped that inflation would come down to 6.5% by end-March and recommended that steps should be taken to release more food stocks to ease the price pressure.
The wholesale price index-based (WPI) inflation eased to 6.62% in January from 7.18% in December 2012, according to official data released today.
“The decline in inflation is a welcome and reassuring sign. I expect March-end inflation to be 6.5%,” said Rangarajan, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) chairman, adding that January inflation has moderated more than expected.
Retail inflation, however, remained in double digits at 10.79% in January mainly on account of higher prices of vegetables, edible oil, cereals and protein-based items.
Rangarajan said with the moderation in manufacturing or core inflation in January, there was a need to focus on the supply side easing of food articles.
“Retail inflation is still high. The WPI inflation in primary and food articles is at higher levels. Efforts should be made to release larger stocks of food articles in the market,” Rangarajan said.
Rangarajan expects core inflation to be below 4% by end-March.