Homecare subsidiary of VHI has posted loss of €500,000
Parent expects a significant improvement in coming years as the company develops
VHI Homecare, the company which pays for VHI subscribers to be treated at home rather than hospital, has reported a loss of more than €500,000 in its first year of operation -- but said it expected a "significant improvement'' as the company develops.
The subsidiary represents the first attempt in Ireland to replicate what happens in markets such as the US and Australia, where healthcare is also administered at home instead of in a hospital.
"The projections indicate that there will be a significant improvement in performance in 2011," said VHI Homecare.
"The key performance indicators are patient numbers and turnover."
It pointed out it had net assets of €117,274 already built up. The key risks to the firm are the make-up of the health insurance market in Ireland.
VHI Homecare is in a "start-up phase'' in an attempt to save the parent firm and the health service money by treating patients in their homes.
In its first year of operation it cost €1.8m to run the service, with expenditure going on drugs, staff, equipment and travel-related expenses. Turnover came in at €1.9m. There were 31 employees.
The VHI parent company has made an investment of €344,000 in the business during the period from August 31, 2009, to December 2010. It also provided a subordinated loan of €50,000 and has taken a three-year property lease costing €66,000.
The Homecare subsidiary is hoping to help the VHI's bottom line by lowering costs.
Treatment of patients with acute conditions who would otherwise have required treatment in a hospital bed are the main customers. Emergency back-up is also offered.
Among the firm's directors is Professor Gerry McElvaney, who is leading the homecare idea.
People are able to become part of the programme after getting a referral from either a GP or a consultant.