NHIA, CHAG to pilot value-based care in 60 hospitals
The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) in partnership with the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) is to pilot the value-based care (VBC) system in 60 selected hospitals across the country.
As part of the pilot, 120 healthcare providers including doctors, nurses and pharmacists will be trained in the VBC system of healthcare.
VBC is a model centered on patients, and guarantees efficient use and allocation of resources, ensures quality, and improves health outcomes.
Speaking at the end of a five-day health workshop organised by PharmAccess Foundation, Ghana in partnership with Leapfrog to Value and the CHAG, Dr Maxwell Antwi, Country Director of PharmAccess said all the 60 hospitals for the pilot were all members of CHAG.
“The Christian Health Association of Ghana and the National Health Insurance Authority have come together to get this started. So, we’re going to start with 60 hospitals from CHAG and train about 120 healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists, to focus first on hypertension,” he said.
Dr Antwi said the pilot would start with hypertension due to the fact that one out of every four Ghanaians had the ailment.
Out of this only 30 per cent were aware and only 22 per cent were on treatment with only six per cent being controlled.
“So that is really a huge burden; that is why we want to start with hypertension,” he said.
Dr Antwi further indicated that hypertension prevalence in Ghana had been on the rise, a phenomenon that was putting stress on the healthcare system and the economy.
“If you suffer from a complication of hypertension, which is usually a kidney disease, stroke, heart disease, or eye disease, you are going to live with that for a very long time because it mainly affects the middle-aged group,” he said.
He further indicated that “We are going to train healthcare workers on how to deliver care based on value, beyond volumes, and a scheme is being designed to incentivise those who will do
that. Patients will be mobilised so that they are also self-aware of their adherence to treatment and compliance with medication, as well as mobilising the whole health ecosystem.
From now onward, if someone is hypertensive or somebody has diabetes, the doctor will be paid based on the blood pressure or sugar control, rather than the number of times the patient turned up at the hospital,” he added.
Dr Antwi said the VBC system, when successfully implemented, would provide all citizens with quality and equitable access to basic healthcare.
The NHIA had in recent years deployed digital technologies to enhance the provision of healthcare in Ghana.
Among these technologies are the mobile NHIS renewal system, which helps subscribers renew and pay their insurance premiums in a convenient way, and the digital claims submission application, CLAIM-IT, which helps providers submit their claims without hassle.
The piloting of the Value-Based Care will form part of initiatives by the NHIA to address some of the challenges in healthcare delivery in Ghana.
The current National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) rewards healthcare providers based on the volume of patients who visit their facilities rather than the outcomes of the services provided.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL