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NHIA settles claims up to August 2021

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby - Chief Executive Officer of NHIS
Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby - Chief Executive Officer of NHIS

The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has paid more than GH¢100 million to settle verified claims of service providers up to August 2021.

The authority, however, has payment arrears of GH¢360 million, covering September to December of 2021.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NHIA, Dr Lydia Dsane-Selby, who made this known at a press conference in Accra last Wednesday, noted that the authority received the bulk of the claims in December 2021, resulting in the gap.

The NHIA was still verifying and honouring claims of health facilities which had presented their claims to the authority, she indicated.

She called on health facilities whose claims had not been verified and paid for more than a year to formally write to the authority in that regard.

The press conference was aimed at clarifying media reports and assertions made by private health institutions about the non-payment of NHIS claims.

Payment of bills

“Our bills are around GH¢90 million a month. The arrangement is that we are supposed to pay service providers within 90 days from the time we receive the bills. At the moment, the target is a little bit of a challenge, but a certain percentage is paid within that time,” Dr Dsane-Selby said.

She indicated that last Tuesday, April 12, she signed responses to some people who wanted to bring July 2021 claims, adding: “This means that we may be paying them some time in June.”

On the payment processes, she explained that the payment of bills was made through the government’s Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) to ensure transparency.

“We are one of the agencies on the GIFMIS platform, so everything goes through the platform to ensure that it is tracked and can be seen,” the NHIA CEO said.

She noted that each provider received an alert when its claims were paid into its account.

Benefit packages

Responding to calls from private facilities for the authority to review the prices of medicines and services, Dr Dsane-Selby said the NHIA, together with the providers, had completed a new costing of services and medicines and had subsequently presented a report for approval.

“We have submitted it to the Health Committee of Parliament for it to look at it. We are waiting for a board meeting for the board to approve it, after which it will be sent to the Ministry of Health for the Health Minister to announce the new prices,” she explained.

In terms of the NHIS benefit package, she said family planning and childhood cancers had been added to the package as part of efforts to expand benefits.

“We are trying to expand the benefit package to make sure that we meet the needs of Ghanaians. Family planning and childhood cancers were added last year,” she said.

Universal health care

To achieve Universal Health Care, she called on Ghanaians to link their Ghana cards to their NHIS cards to ensure that no one was left behind.

“We are advising the public, particularly men between the ages of 30 and 50, to regularly check their health status, as our data has shown that men often avoid accessing health care, especially when they have been asked to come back for a review.

“This, when done, will help us achieve universal health care,” Dr Dsane-Selby stated.