Private Hospitals to halt services to NHIF patients

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 28 – Private hospitals will from Tuesday cease offering services to patients using the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover.

According to the Kenya Association of Private Hospitals Chairman Abdi Mohammed, the contract with NHIF which ends on January 31 has not been extended – and that renewal talks have not been initiated.

Speaking to Capital FM News, Mohammed further pointed out that the current terms of engagement do not favor hospitals and thus the need for them to boycott the fund.

“In some cases, you find that NHIF pays Sh100 per month to provide outpatient services which includes consultations with a doctor, laboratory tests, pharmacy, X-rays and minor procedures, “he stated.

“All this is for an unlimited number of times, and you find someone coming for services so many times a month for just that amount.”

During the last review which already ended in June 2021, NHIF had revised downwards the amount of money it pays for claims lodged by private facilities.

After expiry of the contract in June last year, the fund and private hospitals extended services by another seven months, which comes to an end on January 31, 2022.

The renewal of terms, which the KAPH boss said happens every three years, saw costs of services such as dialysis and surgical services significantly slashed to about 50 per cent.

“Previously NHIF would pay Ksh.9,500 for each dialysis session. Dialysis patients require at least two sessions a week. In the new review, NHIF says it would charge Ksh.6,500 per session,” he said.

Even though NHIF still maintains that the new rates will allow the insurer to increase the number of people benefiting from its services, KAPH insists that private hospitals would lose at least Sh6,000 per patient per week if the insurer was to stick to the new rates.

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