Acumen Blog

PVRI New Hospital

Investee Spotlight: Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute

PVRI's new hospital building, decorated for its inauguration

What is PVRI, and what do they do?

PVRI, the Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute, is an organization treating preventable eye disease in India. PVRI provides a broad range of eye care services – from out-patient procedures to surgeries and post operative care. Focused on one of the leading causes of blindness – diabetic retinopathy, or blindness caused by diabetes, they’ve also found that this one of the most easily preventable causes of blindness. This is in part due to a complete lack of awareness surrounding this issue in at-risk populations, and lack of access to specialized services.

Loss of eyesight has a tremendously negative economic and social impact on low-income families, especially for agricultural and factory workers, artisans, and those that depend on production of small scale goods.

Where do they work?

Andhra Pradesh, the Indian state of over 83 million people, has been home to PVRI’s first hospital based out of Hyderabad since 2007. Of all Indian states, Andhra Pradesh has the highest incidence rate of diabetes, and consequently diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can occur in people suffering from Type I and Type II diabetes, and overall prevalence in India is estimated to be around 14% of all diabetics. These rates in Andhra Pradesh are far higher – ranging around 23-25% of those with diabetes.

On March 5th, 2012 PVRI opened and operationalized the first of two new hospitals supported by Acumen capital in Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh. The second hospital, in Kadappa, Andhra Pradesh, is targeted for a July 2012 opening.

What is their business model?

PVRI is the only eye care hospital in the state to be sanctioned by the AP government health insurance scheme – ArogyaSri. This means that any BPL (below poverty line – approximately $2/day) card holder can avail free care at PVRI facilities. Beyond the cost of care – transportation to and from the facility, accommodation, and food during the post operative period is also covered by the hospital. PVRI’s overall model functions as a cross subsidy – their high quality of care and use of state of the art equipment enable them to charge the standard private care charges to those who can afford it, while still providing affordable care and lower prices to those who cannot – either through the ArogyaSri scheme or independently. PVRI is also in the process of acquiring NABH accreditation – a high quality standard independently conferred by the Quality Council of India.

Where is the break-through innovation?

PVRI’s major innovation is the dual accomplishment of being able to provide access to affordable and quality medical care. In a sector where there is an overload of new, unproven medical technology, PVRI stands apart with its sound business model.

Through a combination of regional camps, one flagship urban hospital and two new hospitals funded by Acumen Fund’s capital in rural areas of the state – PVRI will cover approximately 50% of the state’s population. These screening and treatment camps help spread awareness, facilitate access, and provide a much needed treatment for what can only be described as a growing epidemic.

Decorations adorn the wings of one of PVRI's new hospitals

The two new hospitals are located in tribal regions of the state – areas that are traditional neglected by conventional private care due to often volatile political conditions and lower income populations who often cannot afford traditional models of care. However, these are the areas with the highest incidence rates due to long term neglect – either due to distance from the treatment centres, inability to pay or even unawareness of the root cause. PVRI preservers to address all three of these factors.

The monthly one-day camps that take place in a radius around all of these operational or soon to be operational hospitals play an important part in education and awareness. PVRI also builds local capacity by hiring and training staff from these regions, though this process is often a lot harder than procuring urban talent. To jump start this process, starting next year with 30 students the recently opened Vizianagaram hospital will offer diploma courses post SSC exams.

__

As a Senior Associate on the Portfolio Team in the Acumen India office, Manasa focuses on the health sector. Her responsibilities include working with and providing management support to existing health portfolio investments, as well as identifying and conducting diligence on new areas of investment opportunity. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a double major in Finance and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Comments

Acumen Partners with AlphaSights to Better Access Global Expertise

In our work investing in social enterprises that deliver critical goods to the poor, there is a substantial amount of work to evaluate each investment opportunity. A critical part of the diligence process, particularly when it comes to emerging markets, is speaking with industry experts who can provide reliable information about sector trends, market dynamics and public policy – all of which affect our evaluation of potential investment opportunities. [Read More]

DE-BUNKING THE BURDEN MYTH: IMPACT DATA GOES LEAN

Our manifesto begins, “it starts by standing with the poor.” Yet for good reasons, the sector has found it challenging to measure which customers are actually being served through social impact investments – getting accurate data on incomes is notoriously difficult and the logistical challenge and cost of conducting surveys in person prohibitive. [Read More]

Questions for Aspiring Leaders

Bavidra Mohan, Acumen’s India Fellows Manager, attended this years Aspen IDEAS festival as a Scholar. The Scholarship program was established to invite guests from around the world to bring a diverse set of experiences, voices and perspectives to the rich conversations that take place at the IDEAS festival each year. [Read More]

Give Impact Investing Time and Space to Develop

Impact investing has captured the world’s imagination. Just six years after the Rockefeller Foundation coined the term, the sector is booming. An estimated 250 funds are actively raising capital in a market that the Global Impact Investing Network estimates at $25 billion. Giving Pledge members described impact investing as the “hottest topic” at their May 2012 meeting, and Prime Minister David Cameron extolled the potential of the sector at the most recent G8 summit.  Sir Ronald Cohen and HBS Professor William A. Sahlman describe impact investing as the new venture capital, implying that it will, in the next 5 to 10 years, make its way into mainstream financial portfolios, unlocking billions or trillions of dollars in new capital. [Read More]

10 Books We’re Reading This Summer

What are you reading? It is a common question here at Acumen, an organization full of avid readers constantly trading favorite book titles that discuss leadership, impact, development and branding. Here are 10 stellar books we’re reading this summer. These books and others provide a framework of thinking, a spark of new ideas, a platform for debate. So, what are you reading? [Read More]

How Acumen Brought Back my Fire

Eda is an East Africa Regional Fellow from Nairobi, Kenya and is the Founder and Director of Halisi Trust, an organization that seeks to challenge the vices that plague society and encourage transformational development in Kenya’s youth. When Eda applied for the East Africa Fellows Program, she felt disillusioned and stuck. Below, Eda discusses how Acumen’s Regional Fellowship Program brought back her fire. Now, Eda has engaged nearly 6,000 people through outreach events and the Mkenya Halisi movement continues to grow. Acumen is currently accepting applications for the next class of East Africa Fellows. APPLY TODAY! [Read More]

Imagining the world as it could be

Christine Gitau is an East Africa Fellow and an enterprise coach at Craft Afrika, which provides business support services to craft entrepreneurs, enabling them build viable and thriving businesses in Kenya. At Acumen we often use the term “Moral Imagination” when talking about leadership. Christine wrote a reflection on how this concept has shifted her thinking. We could not be more proud of what she is building! [Read More]

How two Acumen Fellows are disrupting the education model in India

Whether its running youth soccer programs, providing vocational training services, or transforming the education system in India, Acumen India Fellows are driving real change in their communities.  Abbas Dadla and Abhilasha Sinha are India Fellows who are addressing the teacher shortage in India through the use of technology and peer collaboration. Find out what they are building below.  If you have grit, resilience and a commitment to creating change in your community in India, East Africa or Pakistan, we encourage you to apply for the Regional Fellowship Program! [Read More]

Meet Manjushree Patil, Founder of Aatman Academy

This month saw violent tragedies in Pakistan and Kenya, regions where Acumen works and which five classes of Acumen regional fellows call home. Among them there are dedicated teachers like Acumen India Fellow Manjushree Patil, crusaders against sex trafficking, builders of government, creators of liberating mobile medical technologies, and curators of slum sports programs. The need for strengthening the connections between those who are working for positive change against seemingly impossible odds has never been greater. We at Acumen have never been prouder to be the thread tying together these courageous individuals. Read more about Manjushree and how she is changing her community in India below! [Read More]