First contracts outside SA have helped FariMed show growth of 250% since its launch in April 2003. FariMed has concluded its first contracts outside of SA, with a total value projected to be in excess of R22 million over a five-year term. The contracts have been signed with healthcare administrators in Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique and Botswana.

Combined, the four administrators provide medical aid administration to over 55,000 families through various medical schemes and funding mechanisms. The agreements allow the administration companies to significantly improve the customer service of their clients' schemes by gaining access to state of the art systems without having to purchase any applications, hardware or software upfront. They also enable the administrators to reduce their IT costs significantly.

"The agreements allow the administrators to realise savings of at least 30% in their IT costs alone, which will enable them to add value through better services to their scheme members," says John King, Managing Director of Farimed. "Our offering is robust, low cost, large scale and offers real-time processing for administrators," he continues.

FariMed is an application service provider (ASP) medical scheme administration and management healthcare system offering. It delivers access to systems and applications in a manner that allows medical aid administrators to eliminate the costs and time associated with installing, managing and supporting these applications and systems.

Medical aid administrators are coming under increasing pressure to reduce their expenditure. Administrators have a high IT cost in relation to other costs, with the IT function on average accounting for 30% of their overheads. Any saving that can be made in this area has a significant impact on profitability.

"The healthcare industry, across Africa, is one that is continually focusing on costs perspective. Medical scheme administration, while being a relatively small portion of the total healthcare spend, is one that can be significantly impacted on through the application of technology," concluded King.

Faritec launched FariMed in response to the need for a pure ASP model medical scheme administration system that had an integrated financial management system. The system needed to be independent of any medical administration organisation and ensure compliance with international security standards and African medical scheme administration accreditation requirements.

FariMed claims to be the first and only pure ASP for the African healthcare administration sector and aims to capture 30% of this market within two years. Essentially, FariMed enables any administrator to render a fully integrated medical scheme administration and risk management service on one integrated IT platform. FariMed charges for this service on a per member, per month basis.

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