Ayushman Bharat seems agreeable to Private Hospitals’ stance regarding Packages’ rates

Officials of Ayushman Bharat implementing Agency and NATHEALTH, a coalition of Private Health Providers, met to remove bottlenecks

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New Delhi: Ayushman Bharat, nicknamed Modicare, though billed a game changer, is slow to pick up, thanks to the reluctance of private sector hospitals to join due to unviable rates of treatment packages. But with the meeting between officials of govt sponsored health protection scheme and NATHEALTH, a federation of private healthcare providers, bottlenecks may soon be removed. Ayushman Bharat seems ready to factor in Private Hospitals’ stance on packages’ rates.

NATHEALTH & NHA officials met in New Delhi on Tuesday (February 12) to discuss collaboration on a comprehensive range of ideas to scale up the impact of the scheme. During the meeting, NATHEALTH expressed willingness to extend full support and set up a mechanism to provide technical experts and inputs, as and when sought by NHA and the State Governments. They agreed that the development of quality and accessible health service packages is an important step towards the goal of PM-JAY.

The government hospitals alone are abysmally unequal to the huge task presented by Ayushman Bharat. It will turn a damp squib in case private sector decides to stay away. The unrealistically low rates of packages turned private sector away and till now fewer number of them could be taken on board by the agency. But now NHA (National Health Authority), the implementing agency, seems amenable to budge from its rigid stance regarding rates.

Understanding the critical role of both public and private sector providers for Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY), its implementing agency National Health Authority (NHA) is set to collaborate with NATHEALTH- Healthcare Federation of India. The collaboration comes at a critical time as NHA will be undertaking the exercise of calibrating package rates and development of standard treatment protocols to ensure quality healthcare across India.

The NHA, which has the mandate to undertake costing exercise and revision of package rates, has committed to establish a transparent process based on established methodology and global best practices and is seeking inputs and full involvement of private sector in the costing process.

Dr. Indu Bhushan, CEO, NHA, said, ‘This collaboration is part of our practice of mutual learning from the industry to improve design and implementation of PM-JAY. With the well-being of the last mile beneficiary as our focus, we look forward to active and sustained contributions of NATHEALTH towards improvement of quality of health care and increasing private investment in health infrastructure in the country.’

‘We are happy to collaborate with NATHEALTH and welcome active participation from its members in our costing exercises and technical support requests. I also encourage all its members to take advantage of this collaboration and consider contributing to Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY by empaneling their hospitals and hence expanding the provider network and quality of care.’ said Dr. Dinesh Arora, Deputy CEO, NHA.

‘We had a very meaningful meeting with NHA. NATHEALTH, in its endeavor to increase access and quality of healthcare across India, will extend full support to the NHA. We will provide technical experts and inputs, whenever required by the Authority. The exercise of calibrating package rates and the development of standard treatment protocols is expected to begin soon and is a very important step towards a meaningful and sustainable collaboration,’ said Mr. Daljit Singh, President, NATHEALTH.

‘Government officials and industry leaders are of the common view that to achieve set goals under the Ayushman Bharat, all stakeholders need to move forward in a collaborative spirit. Building a strong delivery network, with wide participation by the private sector, is very critical for successful implementation of the scheme and NATHEALTH will work in this spirit with NHA towards fulfillment of Ayushman Bharat goals,’ added Mr. Daljit Singh

Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Secretary General, NATHEALTH said, ‘For a larger and meaningful impact of Ayushman Bharat, it is critical to adopt a partnership approach between Ayushman Bharat and the private sector. Focus needs to be on the point that health services delivered to the beneficiaries are safe, sustainable and of appropriate quality to ensure people-centric care.’

Ayushman Bharat  – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PMJAY) (AB PM-JAY) is the world’s largest government-supported healthcare scheme that aims to provide more than 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (or 50 crore individuals) with a health cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care for a range of serious illnesses. AB PM-JAY was launched by Prime Minister last year.

Leading Healthcare Service Providers, Medical Technology Providers (Devices, Equipment & IT), Diagnostic Service Providers, Health Insurance companies, Health Education Institutions, Medical Journalism companies, Biotech/Life sciences related companies, Healthcare Publishers, Healthcare Consultants, Home Healthcare companies, PE & VC companies and other stakeholders have come together to build NATHEALTH as a common platform to create the next level of momentum in Indian Healthcare.

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