The National Health Authority (NHA), responsible for the implementation of Ayushman Bharat and Quality Council of India, inked an agreement Wednesday for launching a joint initiative of digital certification for empanelled hospitals to improve the quality of healthcare system in the country. The initiative will help the hospitals to get fast-track certification while enhancing healthcare services, a statement said.
The partnership aims to create a process to facilitate certification of at least 7,000 empanelled hospitals by December 2021 to build a network of quality healthcare providers. "The MoU seeks to put in place a simple, swift, transparent and paperless mechanism to encourage the hospitals to apply for certification," the statement said.
Following the existing policy of incentivising the accredited hospitals, the NHA also plans to incentivise the certified hospitals with higher reimbursement rates so that more hospitals apply for certification. There will be three levels of AB-PMJAY quality certifications -- Bronze, Silver and Gold with Gold being the highest level under this initiative.
Indu Bhushna, CEO of AB-PMJAY and NHA, said, "There is an urgent need to help hospitals to get certified to improve the quality healthcare ecosystem in the country. NHA, therefore, has decided to collaborate with QCI and use its well-established systems, skills and credibility for hospital certification. This will boost the confidence of beneficiaries in the quality of care being provided under the scheme." Since the treatment rates are fixed and health care providers have been identified, high-quality treatment becomes a prime concern of the scheme. The NHA, which is implementing AB-PMJAY, is keeping a watch on the treatment outcomes being achieved by the empanelled hospitals, the statement said.
To ensure quality in healthcare, another accepted way is to monitor at the input-level, and certification of the healthcare providers is the right approach for the same. Hospitals which are already certified by nationally or internationally recognised accreditation body can also avail the benefits of the scheme.
"At every step, QCI will be NHA's partner to achieve the goal of certification of hospitals across India. The joint initiative will definitely help the country in achieving the goal of quality healthcare," Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of QCI, said. The government's flagship Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) provides a cover of up to Rs five lakh per family every year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation to over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries).
The PM-JAY provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service. Under this scheme, there are 1,393 health benefits packages with defined rates. Over 15,223 hospitals and healthcare providers have been empanelled across the country to provide healthcare services as per these packages. Around 3.65 crore e-cards have been issued to the beneficiaries and 28.11 lakh people have availed treatment worth Rs 3,785 crore.
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