Allegra is a healthcare company providing technology platforms for total patient care. The Company enables healthcare providers to adapt to current and future customer care challenges by means of software solutions. Allegra is assisting in driving down healthcare costs by facilitating a holistic view of the patient and reducing duplication across multiple systems.
The Allegra solutions assist in reducing risk in patient management by eliminating potential drug conflicts. Actuarial risk within a scheme is reduced through the Health Assessment tool, allowing providers the ability to view their current membership’s risk profile, identify emerging risks and implement strategic wellness interventions. The tool is deployed in more than 350 sites, and includes biometric data exchanges that currently communicate with five medical aid schemes.
Cost reduction and risk reduction are complemented by value creation. Other systems in the Allegra stable include tools for practice management, dispensing and nurse practice management.
Allegra will continue to pursue a strategy of driving value while lowering healthcare costs. The Company is committed to offering a superior cost/value ratio in its market and a reduced cost base will be achieved through the following discrete objectives:
|Strategic objectives||Why this is important||Link to Group
|Maximise use of assets||Allegra will increase volume by expanding the client base for existing products. Extending distribution in the independent sector through valueadded resellers will also reduce the unit cost of products; and as market share grows it will be difficult for new entrants to penetrate the market.|
|Operate on a low direct cost base||By developing modular, flexible products that are easily configured to client requirements, operating costs can be reduced.|
|Continuously reduce costs across the business||Stringent control over production costs and optimising research and development as well as promotional spend results in cost reduction that consequently maximise profitability. Outsourcing certain aspects of the business may also lead to greater efficiencies.|
Allegra’s strategic focus supports AfroCentric’s strategy of lowering healthcare costs and its activities equally align with this strategic objective. Allegra seeks to diversify revenue streams and identify opportunities for growth by entering new, non-pharmacy market segments, such as biokinetics, dietician and GP practices. Allegra’s systems are capable of servicing those sectors and only requires the development of interfaces to link with sectoral platforms. Allegra expects to be active in these markets by 2017.
Allegra strives to enhance the customer experience of scheme members at the point of care by providing biometric data that will allow a truly interactive encounter to healthcare workers.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
The emerging NHI presents scope for Allegra’s software solutions to create an electronic health record, linking public sector to primary health clinics, allowing patients to access care on the move. For example, migrant workers in the mining and other labour-intensive sectors in South Africa can visit a clinic outside of their usual locality for ongoing treatment for chronic conditions, ensuring continuity of care.
Allegra systems also allow for movement of clinical and claims data between point of care and administration points, whether private medical administrators or NHI. The opportunities presented by the NHI will not be realised in the short term, and much remains to be understood about how the legislation will be implemented. The uncertainty surrounding NHI represents a risk and a challenge. Allegra is, however, confident that we have the know-how and resources to be a key service provider to this critical initiative.
Allegra is committed to upskilling the healthcare profession through the use of technology and its software has the ability to power such a network. Allegra employees can train nurses on the use of software. This will position the Group to provide the necessary services to the GEMS, Polmed and Bonitas schemes as well as the NHI.
The majority of Allegra’s income is derived from the pharmacy sector. Allegra is poised to move into non-pharmacy claims with a competitive offering for service providers. The Company is also in the process of developing a practice management application for the biokineticist segment, to be distributed by SmartHealth (value-added resellers), enabling transfer of clinical data to funders.
PERFORMANCE OVERVIEW AND OUTLOOK
There were significant project achievements in the Group’s Polmed take-on and in the Medirite pilot project advancing to operational functionality.
Allegra was contracted by MediRite Pharmacy (Pharmacies in Checkers and Shoprite stores) to implement a Retail Pharmacy Solution into their pharmacies. We are pleased to announce that the project has now transitioned from the pilot phase into the implementation phase. Allegra has been granted approval to continue with the implementation of their new Retail Pharmacy Solution into all MediRite Retail Pharmacy stores in South Africa. Implementation has commenced and is planned to be completed over an
18 month period.
Allegra is pleased to have secured the contract to provide services to Alpha Pharm for the Alpha Clin franchise network. The Company entered into partnership with SmartHealth value-added resellers for entry into the biokineticist market segment. Allegra also introduced a children’s module to the Discovery Vitality suite of products.
Looking ahead, Allegra will continue with its quest to change the healthcare delivery model from one of reactive treatment to proactive prevention. It intends to do this by optimising partnerships with pharmacies and funders, by extending its geographical footprint into Zimbabwe, and by expanding its reach into new, non-pharmacy market segments.