Insurers suspend credit services at Nairobi Women’s Hospital

Thursday, February 6th, 2020 00:00 |
Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Nairobi. KRA has advised its staff not to seek medical services there. Photo/PD/FILE

Irene Githinji and Lewis Njoka

Nairobi Women’s Hospital has suffered a major blow after insurance firms suspended credit services in its facilities over alleged unethical practices aimed at unfairly generating revenue from patients.

The insurance firms have already issued a notice to their clients over the suspension of access of health services at the Nairobi Women and directed their patients to seek help in other medical service providers accredited to them.

Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) yesterday said the move has been informed by recent accusations made against the institution.

 “The suspension will remain in force pending thorough review of quality and cost of the hospital’s services.

The suspension will not affect insured customers already admitted in the hospital. Billing and settlement of expenses incurred by these customers will not be affected,” AKI said in a statement, 

The association said the decision was arrived at after a meeting of medical insurance companies’ chief executives noted several administrative issues concerning the hospital which disadvantage insured customers contrary to the interest of medical insurers which is to ensure that customers get the best services at competitive rates.

A recent  exposé by a local blog detailed how directors in some local private hospitals force medical personnel to carry out unnecessary medical procedures to boost revenue. 

It alleged that the hospital managers were setting daily targets on the number of patients who should be admitted, and monitoring on an hourly and daily basis the admissions, patients’ discharge and revenue commissions raising questions on ethics and adherence to medical best practices.

“Due to some administrative concerns, we wish to notify you that services at the Nairobi Women’s hospital will be suspended effective February 5, 2020.

As we work towards the resolution of the concerns, you may continue to access services from any of our accredited provides in the CIC panel of providers,” read a letter from CIC Group.

The UAP said: “Due to some administrative concerns, we wish to notify you that credit services at Nairobi Women’s Hospital have been suspended effective February 5, 2020.

We regret any inconveniences caused by the interruption and thank you for your continued business partnership.”

The hospital board, however, denied involvement in any unethical practises aimed at unfairly generating revenue from patients.

 “Although we do not believe this is the case, and in fact it is anti-ethical to our foundational principles, we take the allegations seriously and are conducting an internal review as well as cooperating with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Council as they carry out their independent review,” said the hospital’s board, in a statement dated February 3.

“We may not know for certain how much money has been lost but the fact of the matter is a lot of money has been lost because of over-treatment, billing for services that are not necessary and services not offered.

It’s rampant, not just at Nairobi Women’s. The others also need to watch out,” said AKI chief executive officer Tom  Gichuki.

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