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Modi govt launches Digital Health Incentive Scheme under Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

On December 22, Thursday, the National Health Authority (NHA) announced a Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS) for the stakeholders in the health sector. As per a press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, this scheme aims to boost health transactions in India under the flagship Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) scheme.

Under this scheme, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and enterprises that provide digital health solutions like Hospital/Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) and Laboratory Management Information Systems  (LMIS) will receive incentives. According to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, eligible health facilities and digital solutions companies will be able to obtain financial incentives of up to Rs 4 crores under the DHIS, depending on the number of digital health records they create and link to ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account).

This incentive is available to health facilities (hospitals and diagnostic labs) that are registered with ABDM’s Health Facility Registry (HFR) and meet the scheme’s eligibility criteria.

Dr. RS Sharma, CEO of NHA, asserted that the scheme aims to promote digital health by encouraging healthcare facilities and software companies to participate in the ABDM scheme.  “We believe that this scheme will encourage more healthcare facilities and digital software companies to join ABDM in providing patient-centric healthcare. Through this financial incentive scheme, we are encouraging the adoption of digital health.”

“We’re also including solution (HMIS/ LMIS) providers in the incentive scheme so that they can handhold other health facilities to come on board and facilitate the ecosystem’s strengthening,” Dr Sharma added. Incentives have aided in the early adoption of other citizen-centric programs such as UPI, TB case notification, Janani Suraksha Yojana, and so on.”

Incentives would be offered to healthcare facilities with 10 or more beds, laboratory/radiology diagnostic centers, and digital solution providers (entities providing ABDM-enabled digital solutions).

Image via PIB

And the incentives will be based on the number of ABHA-linked transactions, i.e. digital health records created and linked to ABHA, the Ministry statement stated. 

Image via PIB

The incentives for public-sector facilities will be added to the funds under Rogi Kalyan Samiti. The incentive scheme’s estimated initial financial outlay is Rs. 50 crores for a six-month period beginning January 1, 2023.

Notably, NHA on December 17 informed that over 4 crore digital health records of citizens have been linked to the Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHA) of beneficiaries under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.

NHA further said that over 29 crore citizens have generated their ABHA so far. 

With the assistance of state governments, the digital linking of individual health records with ABHA is being carried out extensively across the country’s various health facilities. Among the leading contributors to ABHA-linked health records are the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) scheme, eHospital, and Cowin.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

On September 27 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the countrywide Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission to create a seamless online platform to enable interoperability within the digital health ecosystem. Under the new mission, the government aims to provide a digital health ID to every citizen in the country where health records can be saved securely in digital format. With this mission, the government will be able to provide better health facilities to the remotest areas of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s game-changer Ayushman Bharat has been achieving new milestones with each passing day. The Lancet, a leading medical journal in its recently published study report said that due to India’s national health insurance scheme i.e. Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) District hospitals in India gain a net annual financial benefit of $ 26.1 (1839.3) million at current utilisation levels, which can potentially increase to $ 41.8 (2942.9) million with an increase in patient volume share.

The Lancet estimated a net annual financial gain of $ 169,607 (11.9 million) for an average district hospital, rising to $ 271,372 (19.1 million) per hospital with increased utilisation.

Notably, under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, more than 1 lakh patients availed the benefit of faster OPD registrations using the scan and share service. 

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