The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) yesterday launched an online policy to inject more transparency and accountability into the payment of claims for the service providers and other stakeholders.
Dubbed, “Sunshine Policy”, the amount, date and period the claims paid covers would be exhibited on the website to ensure that information flow was accurate to defuse misinformation.
The Chief Executive of the NHIS, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, who launched the policy said it was to cure the problem that had been associated with the scheme for the past 20 years where all payments relating to facilities had been shrouded in secrecy between the scheme and the service providers.
He added that not even the suppliers of medicines that were given to patients knew when and how payments were made, adding that “this is a crucial policy to ensure that anybody dealing with hospitals will know that something is going to them”.
He explained that it would eliminate instances where service providers would tell the media and their suppliers that for close to one year, they had not received money from the NHIS, where in fact the arrears were not even up to six months.
Dr Okoe-Boye said because of untruthful information about payments, some suppliers stopped providing medicine, leading to the facilities resorting to cash and carry at the expense of patients.
“We now have a link on our website where all the players in the health sector have access to what we have paid, when we paid the money, and for what we paid them,” he added.
Dr Okoe-Boye said although there was always an agreed allowable period of two months’ delay, which was used for documentation, computation and verification, that had shot up to seven months and gave the assurance that the scheme was liaising with the Ministry of Finance for the arrears to be cleared.
“With the collaboration we are having with the Ministry of Finance, by the end of this year, I have the strong faith that the era where some hospitals are owed up to 12 months will be history”, he added.
Under the programme, some selected organisations such as the teaching hospitals, regional hospitals, Ghana Health Service, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Ghana Registered Midwives Association, Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association of Ghana and other bodies and service providers can easily check and verify when money is paid.
Taking the media through the link on the website of the NHIS, Ag. Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr Oswald Essuah-Mensah, said those authorised to open the link would be provided with a password.