From Francis Owusu-Ansah, Atebubu
The Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority, (NHIA), Mr. Joseph Mensah, has advised service providers to approach his outfit with their problems for the necessary assistance, rather than resorting to radio stations.
According to him, the authority operates an open-door policy and is ever ready to address concerns of service providers, who are crucial to the sustenance of the scheme.
Mr Mensah gave the advice at a one-day review meeting with stakeholders of the scheme at Atebubu in the Bono East Region.
The meeting, which was chaired by the Twafohene of the Atebubu Traditional Area, Nana Ofori Yeboah, reviewed 2018 and the first quarter of this year, identified challenges facing the scheme, as well as charted a way forward for success.
According to Mr. Mensah, failure on the part of service providers to renew certificates and the late submission of claims among others could lead to delays in payments.
Giving a background to the debt situation, Mr. Mensah said on his assumption of office in 2017, the whole of 2016, as well as the first four months of that year, were in arrears, but said the latter had been cleared, with the last payments covering July and August of last 2018.
He said the authority was working around the clock to ensure that the backlog is significantly reduced.
While extolling the ease which the mobile membership renewal system had brought to both clients and the authority, the NHIA Manager urged service providers not to take unauthorised monies from people who patronise their facilities.
Mr Mensah commended the Atebubu Traditional Council and the Atebubu Municipal Assembly for ensuring that the authority has a new office building.
The Atebubu Municipal Claims Officer for the NHIA, Mr. Sampson Adu, took the gathering through the membership registration targets for last year and what was achieved, as well as a comparison between the first quarters of 2019 and 2018.
He also touched on the financial performance of the scheme, in terms of targets and achievements over the period, as well as the steps involved in claims management.
Mr. Adu spoke about factors affecting the average healthcare cost of service providers and the causes of reductions or rejection of claims submitted to his office for payment.
The Atebubu Municipal Manager of the authority, Mr. Kwesi Alhassan, said an old and weak vehicle, insufficient claims staff, delays in claims submission on the part of service providers, and inadequate BMS equipment were some of the challenges facing the scheme in the municipality.
The participants made varied suggestions towards the smooth running of the scheme in the municipality, key amongst which was the need to get an accredited pharmacy for easy access to drugs.
Stakeholders at the meeting included the Ghana Health Service, private service providers, Ghana Education Service, Department of Social Welfare and Community Development, National Commission for Civic Education, and the Information Services Department.
Others were the Local Council of Churches, a representative from the Muslim community, and the media.