Sumitomo to invest in Vietnam’s managed-care market

By Minh Long   September 6, 2021 | 05:17 pm PT
Sumitomo to invest in Vietnam’s managed-care market
Logos of Sumitomo Corp are seen after the company's initiation ceremony at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan April 2, 2018. Photo by Reuters
Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. will invest tens of millions of dollars in Insmart, a major healthcare intermediary in Vietnam, targeting Southeast Asia’s growing managed-care industry.

Insmart offers a range of services to consumers, including online prescriptions as well as referrals to health care providers and access to medical records and medication information via its app. Sumitomo plans to further expand the app’s services to include telemedicine along with medication counseling and drug shipping, according to Nikkei.

Insmart holds a 60-percent share of Vietnam’s managed-care market, with 1.5 million customers.

Sumitomo plans to buy shares both from Insmart’s founder and a placement of new stock, and will consider eventually converting the company from an affiliate into a subsidiary.

The managed-care market is forecast to expand by an average of more than 20 percent annually in Vietnam and over 10 percent in Malaysia.

Managed-care companies serve as intermediaries between insurers and medical institutions while also serving patients. They handle tasks for insurers like assessing whether medical expenses are appropriate, along with processing claims and payouts.

Private health insurance is the norm in Southeast Asian countries where publicly funded health care systems lack scale.

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