CarePay lends $18.2m to Kenyan private healthcare providers

CarePay, a platform that funds private and public insurance plans with smart mobile health wallets to provide access to good healthcare, has lent private healthcare facilities US$18.24 million, mainly to finance the purchase of required equipment and expansion.

Disbursements from the lending facility, which is part of CarePay’s medical credit fund (MCF), increased from around US$456204 a month in the third quarter of 2020 to more than US$3.65 million in the fourth quarter.

CarePay chief executive Moses Kuria said, “We used data from our M-tiba platform on medical care costs to build a financial profile that allows the participating private hospitals to apply for the loans on a pay-per-use basis.”

The loans were used to establish pharmacies and an online prescription network, as well as to improve their ability to provide primary healthcare, with patients paying using the M-tiba cashless wallet established by CarePay, PharmAccess, and telecommunications company Safaricom.

According to him, loan disbursement increased to 3,100 participating facilities as of December 31, 2020, up from 2,500 in 2019.

The National Hospital Insurance Fund of Kenya (NHIF), Britam, and AAR insurance companies in Kenya are currently using the M-tiba network, where payments made at participating hospitals are sanctioned by customers who check each claim before releasing payments and a real-time report is made to their underwriter or employer.

Mr Kuria spoke after the company published the findings of a national study on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Kenyans’ expenses. The survey showed a need for healthcare micro-insurance plans that rely on cell phone apps, allowing for cashless and sustainable medical care spending.

CarePay is a Kenyan firm that coordinates conditional healthcare payments between funders, customers, and providers. CarePay’s M-TIBA portal channels funds from public and private funders directly to patients’ cell phones, where they can be accessed through a “health wallet.”

The use of these funds is limited to conditional investment at designated Kenyan healthcare facilities. CarePay integrates digital billing and real-time medical and financial data processing for each purchase to help make healthcare simpler and more transparent for both patients and healthcare providers.

CarePay has contracted with over 2,000 healthcare facilities across Kenya, with the aim of bringing healthcare to millions of Kenyans.