Health News of 2014-03-28

Capitation is already under review – NHIA boss

Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah, has welcomed the order by Parliament to immediately review the capitation programme being piloted by the Authority.

“I think that it is a welcome call. We have always believed in collaboration in stakeholder engagements and we have engaged Parliament in all our discussions,” he said.

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) capitation is an upfront payment of a pre-determined fixed rate to healthcare service providers for clients enrolled in particular healthcare facilities. It covers only primary healthcare service.

It was instituted as a means of curbing the increasing health insurance fraud around the country.

The programme was piloted in the Ashanti Region for two years and it is scheduled to soon be introduced in the Volta, Upper East and Upper West regions. The piloting of the programme faced stiff opposition from both NHIS subscribers and health care providers in the Ashanti Region after it encountered some challenges. On Thursday, however, Parliament ordered the immediate review of the capitation programme after the legislators voted on it. Responding to the new directive, Mr. Mensah disclosed that Parliament’s demand has come at a time when the Health Ministry and the NHIA have already taken steps to review the progamme. According to him, stakeholder meetings have been organized in the Ashanti Region to review the Capitation system “and we have had an extended meeting in Accra under the leadership of the Minister of Health again to have a final review and as it were, collate all the issues that might have arisen…to factor into the impending roll-out.” Regarding the impending introduction of the programme in Volta, Upper East and Upper West regions, Mr. Mensah said the extension programme has already began with stakeholder discussions in all the three regions. He pointed out that the Authority is presently implementing capitation “on incremental basis rather than having a one-stop type of implementation.”