Villa Donatello a private hospital in Florence, Italy, is well-equipped to provide diagnosis and medical services in an outpatient and inpatient basis. The private institute is complete with of four operating rooms furnished with modern equipment, imaging diagnostic services such as ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, and X-ray, a laboratory and even cardiology units. In addition to traditional surgery, Villa Donatello is famous for performing arthroscopic, video-laparoscopic as well as orthopedic microsurgery.
Villa Donatello has partnered with PlacidWay to help international patients have access to the medical services unique in their facility. Recently, PlacidWay caught up with Ing. Lorenzo Bifone, CEO of Villa Donatello since 2013, to explain and tell us a bit about their private institute. We are thankful that he was kind to answer our questions, which you will see below.
Interview with Ing. Lorenzo Bifone, CEO of Villa Donatello
PlacidWay: Please describe what is your center’s most sought after treatment and why?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Our business is mostly based on ophthalmology, dermatology, aesthetic and orthopedic surgery. We are also popular for our urology and general surgery. People choose us thanks to our doctor’s reputation (most have PhD or teach at the university) and the state-of-the-art devices we use."
PlacidWay: How is your company perceived in the local and international healthcare arena in general?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Villa Donatello has been in the healthcare business for 70 years, and in Florence, we are considered the best facility in private healthcare. Just in the last few years, we started working with foreign patients and for this reason, we aren’t well known abroad. Anyway, many of our doctors are in touch and actively collaborate with other international hospitals in the UK, US, Australia, and Arabian countries."
PlacidWay: What do the patients you cater to benefit if they choose your facility?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Villa Donatello is a multidisciplinary hospital, offering a full-range of services. We can provide services in diagnostics, outpatient, day surgery, full surgery and rehabilitation. This integration allows us to provide our patients full solutions to their health problems."
PlacidWay: What sets Villa Donatello apart from other private institutes?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Villa Donatello is up-to-date both in medical expertise, and technology. In several cases our devices, for instance the ‘DaVinci’ robot, ophthalmology femtosecond laser, dermatologic Mona Lisa touch, are present exclusively in our facility. Only a small number of private hospitals in Italy have the same level of technology we have. These excellences are widespread in many specialties. Moreover, Villa Donatello is located in the center of Florence, one of the most renowned cities in the entire world, with plenty of tourists."
PlacidWay: Basing from a medical tourism perspective, what are the challenges and risks involved in your healthcare business?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Thanks to the presence of doctors fluent in English, we are now able to translate and be understood in more than 150 different languages - due to an important and efficient interpretive service available 24 hours. We also provide a cultural mediation service in order to accommodate foreign habits, in particular religious and dietary, so any foreign patients can feel at home."
PlacidWay: What kind of additional services do you offer and what should the patient pay for (not included in the stay, meals, transport, all inclusive)?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Our complementary medical services such as check-ups or wellness. We can also suggest planning and even organizing many non-sanitary services in order to allow our foreign guests and their relatives to optimize their travel in such an attractive country as Italy. We are talking about museum tours, shopping or any kind of other trips."
PlacidWay: Is your clientele more of corporate clients (employer sponsored), insured patients, or more individually-paying clients?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Historically, our clientele is made up mostly of individually-paying clients, but in the last few years we worked a lot with people coming from certain companies. The majority of our clients have health insurance anyway."
PlacidWay: What issues have you encountered since entering the medical tourism market?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "The first problem we’ve encountered was that many competitors all over the world offer very low prices, both for dumping policies and for the manpower costs. We understand that the international healthcare market is very competitive, and prices are obviously one of the most important marketing tools. We believe that the customer’s choice should also take into account accuracy and quality. Our policy is not to decrease prices by reducing quality, because we believe in the right price and we would like you to agree with this."
PlacidWay: What do you think the patients should know when opting to travel for healthcare to your facility?
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "Our patients should always remember that we are a complete private hospital so we can provide them with many additional services. Additionally, our prices are the best in terms of quality to price ratio. We finally have the opportunity, for European patients, to get reimbursed directly from their national healthcare system."
PlacidWay: Finally, a few words on your most recent developments and services that are unique to your organization.
CEO Lorenzo Bifone: "In the last period, we’ve invested a lot in modern machines. Again, lasers in particular, for ophthalmology, dermatology, and expensive, precise and modern machines for rehabilitation. We like to remind you that we started with an important team devoted to “hand therapy,” and in general to make our patients nicer. This is not a joke because we work a lot on aesthetics, dentistry, and orthopedics. We also have a very skilled nutritionists staff. Finally, we have an entire department devoted to fertility problems."
If you want to learn more about Villa Donatello Multispecialty Clinic in Florence, Italy, or CEO Lorenzo Bifone, please do not hesitate to contact us.