e-MASS System
Post Service Division, Public Service Department of Malaysia

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Initially, Post-Service Division maintains a database of 1.9 million pensioners and dependants records. Due to continuously escalating number of medical claim reimbursements submitted to the Division, the lead time for processing these claims have increased tremendously resulting in delays of payment. This significantly burdens the pensioners especially those with chronic diseases and life-long treatment plus medications. In the long run, these financial problem causes pensioners to decide that they can no longer afford continuous supply of medication.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The Post-Service Division, Public Service of Malaysia’s responsibility is to ensure that the needs of the public service pensioners and dependents are well taken care of. For these reasons, the Post-Service Division embarked on collaboration with a service provider for the implementation of Electronic Medical Automation Supply System (e-MASS) in 2012, with the clear objective to provide prompt and quality health care services. This innovative solution eliminated financial burden previously borne by pensioners through allowing the dispense of medications and medical devices at no cost via a network of more than 600 pharmacies and 300 medical device vendors across Malaysia.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
This innovative idea is one of the first of its kind in the region of South East Asia, mainly focusing on the management of medical benefits of pensioners and dependants. e-MASS System enable the pensioners and dependants to be dispensed with their prescribed medication or medical devices without limitations to factors of time, place and financial. This innovative and efficient approach to medical health care supply system for the pensioners and dependants enable them to get the best medical services timely without any cash outlay.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Stages of e- MASS Implementation:- i. Post-Service Division appoints a service provider with proven capability in providing IT infrastructure and healthcare services. ii. The appointed service provider develops a platform of an integrated system of portals to cater for complete functionalities from patient eligibility verification, transaction details, batching, online approval and finally to provide invoice to the Department. iii. Critical operational processes of uploading claims documentation, submission of claims, a series of reporting function, approval by the Post Service Divison and invoices are conducted online. iv. Once online transactions are verified and approved, the portal will generate invoice documentation. These processes are enhanced with individual notification mechanism to ensure timely processing. v. Post-Service Division proceeds with reimbursement to the service provider based on the approved claims.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The main key players are Public Service Department (Post Service Division), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance and Government Pensioners Association Malaysia. The collaboration and effective negotiation of respective representative contributes to the establishment medical health care system, that is later named e-MASS.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
To realise the implementation of e-MASS System, a group of financial (from the Ministry of Finance), technical (from Post Service Division and Oratis Services Sdn Bhd) and human resources’ (from Ministry of Health, Post Service Division and Oratis Service Sdn Bhd) personnel was involved and upon the agreement of contract to the service provider, Post Service Division agreed to a sum of money for the establishment of e-MASS in the period of a five year contract commencing from 26 January 2012 – 27 January 2017. The project was fully funded by the Government under the provisions of Ministry of Finance Malaysia.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. Increase in efficiency and productivity where Post-Service Division only deals with the service provider, rather than individual patients. 2. Automated process flow of eligibility verification and series of internal eligibility data filter within the portals to ensure accurate eligibility data. 3. Reduce financial burden of pensioners since they do not need to use their own money to pay for the medical supplies. 4. Better and efficient disease management due to timely delivery of medical supplies. 5. Multiple service delivery channels available, where pensioners and their dependents are able to submit their documentations for medication and medical supplies. The available channels include by email, fax, post and walk-in to the service provider counter or even via online submission through e-MASS portal.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring is done by a certain application in the e-MASS System in which reports on transaction, processing time and pensioners’ ledger are accessible for Post Service Division to monitor accordingly. Evaluation of e-MASS System activities are also under the provision of internal and external audit by the Government.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1) Execute awareness for pensioners and dependants to make full use of e-MASS System. At the beginning of e-MASS implementation, awareness and acceptance from the pensioners and dependants were scars and Post Service Division embarked on educating pensioners via mass media about the importance and benefits of e-MASS. After some time (within half a year), pensioners and dependants start to realise the simplicity and benefits of the system and e-MASS is fully utilised. 2) Establishment of retail pharmacies to participate in the system. As the service provider, Oratis Services Sdn Bhd faces problem to obtain retail pharmacies that will participate with the e-MASS System implementation. The retail pharmacies must be well distributed throughout the country as pensioners are residing all over Malaysia. Due to the diligence of Post Service Division and the service provider, now there are over 600 retail pharmacies. These pharmacies are engaged in negotiation and exposed to Government policy and implementation hence the interest in participating with e-MASS System.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Benefits to the patients e-MASS system allows patients to receive their medical supplies timely via an extensive network of community pharmacies without any financial worries. A value-added service of medical supply home delivery to the patients is also available. Patients are able to submit their application online and their medical supplies will be delivered to their homes periodically throughout the prescribed duration. The patients can also call the customer care line services for any queries, assistance or complaints. The customer care line is operating seven days a week from 7 am to 9 pm every day. In other words, the patients are attended immediately by the professional employees the moment they have any issues or complaints. The overall improvement in delivery and attention given to the patients resulted in better disease management among pensioners and their dependents. Benefits to the Post-Service Division The Post-Service Division is able to increase its productivity as all processing are done online as compared to manual processing. Average processing time is drastically reduced to 7 days from 4 weeks before e-MASS implementation. Minimal document handling and reference since eligibility data is accessible via the e-MASS portals. This remarkable efficient processing process resulted in improvement of service level image of the Post-Service Division among the pensioners. These improvements were successfully executed at no extra cost to the Post-Service Division and the Government as a whole. Benefits to the country Since all transactions are done via e-MASS portals, steady databases of valuable information of patient’s health records are accumulated. These valuable databases can be utilised for future trend of health related analysis. Previously, analytical studies are not possible due to absence of reliable data since transactions are conducted manually. With efficient delivery of health services, there will be higher level of satisfaction among pensioners and hereto motivates the in-service civil servants on the government initiatives to serve well into their retirement age.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
i. Mobilisation of employees to more critical area Manual processing of claims is totally replaced with systematic and more structured verification and approval processes. This allows productive remobilisation of manpower to focus on more critical areas within the Post-Service Division and effectively restructure existing manpower towards a leaner workforce. This move is in line with the government’s efforts towards ‘Lean Civil Service’ as advocated by the Government Chief Secretary. ii. Efficient claim processing Claim processing time is significantly reduced with more systematic work processes where previously manual functions are taken over by the system. Under e-MASS system, claims are submitted to Post-Service Division by service provider in contrast to individual claim submission before e-MASS system was implemented. e-MASS systems is convenient in the sense that pensioners or dependents no longer have to travel to Post-Service Division offices and counters to get their documentations checked and accepted for submission. In addition, there is literally no waiting time anymore since the medications or medical supplies will be dispensed at the premise of the pharmacy itself. iii. Cost-effective Structured and automated work flows, operational expenses such as staff over time allowances and emolument fees have been drastically reduced as a result in drastic reduction of manpower. Automated and online verification/approval processes reduce the usage of paper hence a greener approach on technology. iv. Increased long term health wellness Prompt access to medication or medical supplies ensures more efficient disease management, improve prognosis and significant increase in patient’s general health. v. Significant reduction of bureaucratic procedures e-MASS system allows eligibility verification to be carried out at premises of pharmacies. Once eligibility is confirmed, medication or medical supplies to be dispensed or supplied at the same time. This straightforward manner of getting medications and medical supplies dispensed to pensioners and dependents signifies drastic reduction in bureaucratic procedures compared to manual processes before e-MASS implementation. vi. Price regulation Before e-MASS implementation, there is no standard pricing mechanism in place. Claims are entirely paid based on submitted cash receipt documents. These cash receipts are often vague and lack of transaction details i.e. quantity, duration, brand of the medication dispensed, etc. Prescription was never a mandatory document to verify the dispensed medications or medical supplies. Therefore, same item might ended up being charged differently due to different dispensing pharmacies, different type of medications or in the worst case scenario, there is absolutely no details on the cash receipt other than the total amount paid. With e-MASS prices are structured according to RRP (Recommended Retail Price) and GAMP (Generally Accepted Market Price). In addition, a type of medication will be charged with a single price regardless of the location of dispensing. vii. Updated patients’ records for databases purposes as e-MASS provides the pensioner-friendly facility for self-update of personal records by pensioners. viii. General health data analysis e-MASS system maintains a wealth of critical and valuable database for future statistical analysis in areas of general clinical conditions, geographical studies and other relevant analysis for general health planning purposes.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Prior to e-MASS implementation, the Post-Service Division has long been dealing with the issue of out-dated 1.9 million database of pensioner’s personal information. This resulted in communication problems and difficulty in determining eligibility status of pensioners and their dependents. In addition, the idea of sharing government data with a third party outside the government department prohibited. However, with proper planning, e-MASS implementation provides improvement in the integrity of records, whilst maintaining the Post-Service Division data confidentiality. This valuable lesson proved that the government is capable of having productive collaboration with a service provider who is a private entity in implementing data-sharing activities. In addition to the above, e-MASS system is a result of excellent teamwork between the government and the private sector. This collaboration is successful through dedication and hard work targeted to improve the health care service among pensioners and dependants. e-MASS is designed specifically tailored to the Malaysia's Pension Laws, regulations and rules and has successfully resolved problems in managing healthcare system for the pensioners and their dependants.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Post Service Division, Public Service Department of Malaysia
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Yeow Chin Kiong
Title:   Dato'  
Telephone/ Fax:   03-88854014 / 03-88892193
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   ckyeow@jpa.gov.my  
Address:   Level 5, Block C2, Complex C, Presint 1
Postal Code:   62510
City:   Putrajaya
State/Province:   Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya
Country:  

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