NHIA introduces e-payment of claims

BY: Isaac Yeboah

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is introducing electronic payment of claims (e-claims) to 47 health care providers across the country to ease delays associated with payment of claims.

The three teaching hospitals, the 37 Military and Ghana Police hospitals, as well as all the 10 regional hospitals, are now hooked onto the e-claim payment by the NHIA.

The others are the Tema, Tepa, New Edubiase and Bekwai Hospitals, as well as selected district hospitals across the country.

Outlining the significance of the e-claims payment at a capacity building workshop in Kumasi to sensitise health care providers about the new payment project, the Deputy Chief Executive of the NHIA in charge of Operations, Mr Nathaniel Otoo said 500 more health care providers would be hooked onto the new payment in March, next year, to speed up the processing and payment of health insurance claims.

Capacity building workshop

The capacity building workshop being attended by selected officials from 85 health care providers across the country is also meant to create awareness about the efficiency, effectiveness, accuracy and transparency of the e-claim payment.

In his address, Mr Otoo said the implementation of the e-claim project would make for meaningful data collection and analysis as well as enhance health care delivery.

Comparing the e-claim project with the manual system, Mr Otoo said last year for example, the NHIA processed 27 million claims.

He said because all the 27 million claims were paper based, it resulted in bulky paper works, many of which were full of errors.

“About 100 million papers were used for such transactions, so they had implications on cost, retrieving of data and other challenges.The e-claim project has, therefore, come to address such challenges” he said.

Tracking claim payments

“With the submission of claims in the paper based regime, it was difficult to track down claim statistics and useful information but the e-claim project is now addressing all such challenges,”Mr Otoo said.

He urged health care providers to build the capacity of their information communication technicians more meaningfully, to enhance the smooth implementation of the e-claim project.

For his part, the Project Coordinator, Mr Anthony Gingang, said the newly introduced project would enhance clinical auditing to improve health care delivery.

He said the new project would also induce health care providers to build the capacity of their staff on issues relating to claims.

“With everybody on board, we will spend less time in preparing claims to enhance prompt payment,” he assured.

By George Ernest Asare/Daily Graphic/Ghana