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Interview with Director, Health Insurance TPA of India

Aim is to build a world-class organization,with best practices take from developed countries: P K Bhagat
The in-house third party administrator (TPA) for public sector general insurers has been set up and early work begun. P K Bhagat, Director of the Health Insurance TPA of India, talks to M Saraswathy about this new venture. Edited excerpts:

Your paid-up capital is Rs 10 crore and the articles of association say the promoters are committed to increase this to Rs 200 crore. By when will this happen?

The capital infusion is linked to the business plan and launch of operations It shall be done in due course.

What will be the key areas of focus?

Improvement in customer service and increasing efficiency in claims processing.

How many members are there on the board of directors?

Six members, of which five are the chairman and managing director of each of the five promoter companies -- G Srinivasan of New India Assurance, who is chairman; N S R Chandraprasad of National Insurance; Milind Kharat of United India Insurance; A K Saxena of Oriental Insurance and A K Roy of General Insurance Corporation of India. I have been inducted as an additional director. The TPA shall also induct a medical professional as member in due course.

What key decisions were taken in the first board meeting on September 4?

The agenda for a first board meeting of a newly incorporated company carries certain statutory requirements. These were dealt with on September 4, beside few others such as opening of bank accounts, appointment of auditors, appointment of additional director, etc.

When will the TPA commence work? How many employees do you have and what is your target?

The process of setting up the company has been initiated and we are awaiting a certificate of commencement of business. Subsequently we shall be applying for a TPA licence. We intend to carry out a test run in eight to 10 months. Currently, a project team comprising officers on deputation from the four public sector general insurance companies and from GIC of India is managing the work. Soon, recruitment from the market shall be started.

In the future, would you cater to the needs of private general insurers?

At the moment, our focus is on providing services to the promoter companies.

Will you also have external consultants to assist in company-wise claims?

We shall build our own capability to service the business of all insurers who empanel the TPA for servicing of their health portfolio. During the initial period of setting up of operations, we intend to take assistance from consultants to build a world-class organisation, with robust information technology systems, bringing in some of the best practices from developed markets.

Will you also be looking to have other partners, Indian or foreign, in this joint venture?

It is not being considered at the moment.

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