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NHIF scraps accreditation fees for private health facilities

 NHIF staff register new members during the close of a countrywide registration programme which has been going on since May. PHOTO: JECKONIA OTIENO

NAIROBI: The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has scrapped accreditation fees for health facilities wishing to be contracted to offer healthcare services to its members.

The announcement was made by Acting NHIF Chief Executive Geoffrey Mwangi who said the move is aimed to reach even more people with health insurance.

Mwangi was speaking during the closing of a recruitment drive that has been going on around the country since May to get more people to get health cover from the national health insurer.

"We have also reviewed the accreditation and contracting process to make it shorter and more effective as a means in order to accommodate more facilities to offer services to the people," said Mwangi.

Initially, faith-based health facilities were charged Sh50,000 while private facilities had to pay Sh100,000 for accreditation to offer services to members of NHIF.

NHIF has also done away with pre-assessment and pre-accreditation alongside the fees as these served to complicate the access of services from facilities for its members. This therefore means facilities will neither have to be pre-assessed nor have to pay in order to be accredited.

Mwangi said that to make registration of facilities easier, the process has been simplified for quicker and quality service delivery.

He said, "Health facilities needing accreditation will only be required to present their duly filled application form, attach their facility registration papers and licenses from relevant government bodies that authorise their operations."

The recruitment process which was mounted countrywide managed to net over 100,000 new members mainly in the informal sector. Mwangi says that the drive to get more members to the policy dubbed Supa Cover has been well received due to its low membership contribution rates translating into only Sh20 per day or Sh500 per month - amounting to Sh6,000 annually.

"With 100,000 people registered it means more are covered by NHIF because families have more than one member," said Mwangi.

Some of those targeted include bodaboda riders, casual labourers and those in the jua kali industry among the self-employed.

NHIF has in recent years expanded its coverage to cover even the vulnerable in society through the health insurance subsidy programme. Mwangi said the fund has improved access to healthcare for more Kenyans in a bid to achieve universal health coverage.

There are plans to include the management of free maternity care under the insurer and Mwangi said this will be after conclusive discussions are complete.

Free maternity care is currently mainly being implemented by the county governments under which devolved healthcare falls.

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