Icon Growth announced as empowerment arm

Leading value-based care (VBC) business, Icon Oncology South Africa is pioneering transformation in the local healthcare sector and driving adoption of value-based-care to deliver better patient outcomes.

On World Quality Day, the group of companies under the leadership of Anthony Pedersen (formally CEO of Medscheme Holdings) announced a number of new business initiatives and shared its (2023) strategy to create value across the cancer treatment continuum.

“For years we’ve known that the traditional fee-for-service model is simply not sustainable. In the last decade Icon Oncology has developed evidence-based cancer treatment protocols, drug formularies, a large footprint of facilities and a network of some of the best oncologists in South Africa,” says Pedersen.

“Today, we are able to combine all of that into something quite unique: a streamlined, bundled fee pricing model that brings the best possible care to increasing numbers of patients. Importantly, our studies show that this model is 27% more cost effective than other providers whilst delivering improved outcomes for our patients.”

Despite the additional pressures of the pandemic, Pedersen has consolidated and driven Icon Oncology’s business strategy which aims to position the company as a preferred partner to funders and an obvious solution provider for NHI oncology benefits once implemented.

“In the challenging and uncoordinated South African healthcare sector, we are committed to transforming our culture, move towards becoming a majority black-owned business, diversifying our business offering and through value-based contracting, delivering quality cancer care to both the private and public sectors,” says Pedersen.

As a significant step in its transformation strategy, Icon Growth was recently registered to empower black shareholding in the business. “In the future, black oncologists will [be able to] own a 51% majority stake in the business, which will accelerate our goal of becoming a level 2 BBEE contributor by 2022,” says Pedersen.

Enterprise development is also earmarked in its transformation strategy; “Oncology is a capital intensive industry. Icon Growth will give black practitioners the opportunity to set-up a business with the support of a large national network of peers. Through this venture young black oncologists will have access to clinical and managed care IP and systems, capital, turnkey cancer treatment facilities and a contracted patient base,” explains Pedersen.

In a vote of confidence, the Icon shareholders have unanimously approved a property transaction to invest R480 million to purchase a property portfolio holding 15 key properties within the group’s oncology partner network.

“This will enable us to expand our national footprint and allow us to create full-service ‘one-stop oncology centres’ for doctors wishing to set-up a practice. We anticipate concluding the transaction within the next couple of weeks,” says Pedersen.

As part of becoming a one-stop oncology service, the company is diversifying further in the oncology value chain by offering a full chemotherapy solution. The first step was to secure a wholesale pharmacy licence which the company acquired with its recent purchase of AG Morris International (Pty) LTD.

“This is a key milestone in our chemotherapy business which will include mixing facilities, administration and supply chain management. Participating in the pharma-value chain will allow us to do what we do best which is to reduce wastage to bring patients the best quality and most effective care at the most affordable price. To see this work in practice, we look forward to implementing our first full-service chemotherapy unit at our new Constantiaberg facility in Cape Town early in 2021,” says Pedersen.