The organisation doesn't just engage with patients...its owned by patients! approximately 5000 community members who are called upon to be board members and who are actively surveyed on a regular basis.
Community member fees are used to subsidise the costs and spread them across the local community, and membership entitles you to a range of benefits, which is a similar model to that utilised successfully within the insurance industry. The difference with alot of insurance companies is the philosophy and investment back into the organistion as a not-for profit entity. They highlight on their 'Fees & Payments' page that 'They help cover the costs associated with operating our two clinics. We believe that the Co-op’s philosophy of membership fees provides a more equitable system of providing high-quality health care to the whole community, rather than having to charge a fee for every medical service'.
By providing this example, I am not implying that the payment system for the wider primary health sector is ok. I'm providing an example of how one health organisation is using social-innovation to deal with some of the issues raised about the current state of the health system including:
- being in it for the money more than for improving health
- application of quality measures
- aligning funding systems towards prevention