NHIF urged to agree with hospitals on dialysis costs

Friday, November 5th, 2021 00:00 |
A view of the NHIF offices. /FILE

Parliament yesterday asked the Ministry of Health to lobby hospitals to lower the cost of dialysis should the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) proposal to reduce reimbursements from Sh9,500 to Sh6,000 be implemented.

The MPs, who sit on the National Assembly’s Health committee, said if hospitals continue to charge the current amounts, patients would be forced to pay the difference from their pockets.

Led by committee chair Sabina Chege (Murang’a), the lawmakers said patients should be protected from exploitation.

A kidney patient, Monica Kiraguru, had written to the MPs raising concern that NHIF was in the process of adopting the proposal to lower refunds for dialysis sessions.

Kiraguru said the changes would financially burden the patients as they would be forced to foot the additional costs.

“If the ministry insists the Sh9,500 was high and may want it reduced, then you need to engage hospitals so that they can agree to also charge Sh6,000,” she said.

Health PS Susan Mochache, who had appeared before the committee to respond to some queries, said the State is currently reviewing the pricing of dialysis so that they get the actual costs as they had established that in some cases NHIF has been overpaying for the procedure.

An eight-member technical working group has been established to come up with a new costing for dialysis.

The team comprising four representatives each from the NHIF and Kenya Renal Association agreed to conclude the exercise in two weeks.

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