Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and health & care suppliers are increasingly using PHBChoices, an online marketplace that connects health and care suppliers with personal health budget (PHB) holders.
PHBChoices enables PHB holders to manage their budgets online and make purchases any time, any place - via laptop, tablet or phone.
The PHBChoices system was developed and delivered by NHS Shared Business Services but is based on the cloudBuy eCommerce platform.
Providing e-commerce web sites is just one string to cloudBuy’s bow; it also specialises in online marketplaces and cloud-based sales & purchasing solutions.
You can think of the company, if you like, as a creator of specialised versions of the well-known Amazon.com and eBay sites. In essence, it builds electronic marketplaces that connect buyers & sellers.
Sellers can list their company and reach new customers for their products and services, while buyers can shop around to source new products and services.
The company's cloud-based applications are also used for company spend analysis, content management and big data.
Number of personal health budgets is expected to balloon
“Personal Health Budgets (PHB's) represent a very major change in the way that the NHS manages patient care, the uptake of PHBChoices by CCGs is now gaining pace as PHBs become mainstream and government targets begin to bite,” the company said, in its 2018 annual general meeting statement.
“We are particularly heartened by the announcement on the 16th April 2018 by ministers that they want to see exponential growth from the current 23,000 budgets to 350,000. The initial focus has been on individuals with complex needs being met under Continuing Health Care (CHC); this is now broadening out to cover a wide range of different areas including Learning Disabilities (LD), which is often the most complex and expensive area of care, with budgets typically twice that of CHC. We have had a small but increasing number of LD patients going live on PHBChoices,” the statement said.
While the company is banking on PHBChoices to grow its revenue, it is also focusing on reducing costs after receiving a cash infusion from long-time backer, Roberto Sella, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, and his affiliates.
In December 2017, Sella agreed to subscribe for up to £3.4mln worth of convertible secured loan notes. Under the terms of the deal, the US-based investor will also have the right to appoint up to 40% of the total number of directors on the board.
The key element that will determine whether Sella sees a profit on his investment is whether cloudBuy can get the top line heading north.
The decision to withdraw from certain markets has lessened the need for sales and marketing resources and has thus reduced the cost base, but cost-cutting can only get you so far; cloudBuy needs contract wins and it is most likely these will come from CCGs.
“The reputation of PHBChoices is growing and new CCGs are contacting the team to discuss their requirements,” the company noted earlier this month.