By Oluwafunke Ishola
The Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) says it will adjust its tariffs with the private health insurance businesses from Feb.1 following effect of inflation on healthcare services.
Dr Jimmy Arigbabuwo, National President of HCPAN, made this known at a news conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that HCPAN is the mouthpiece of all Healthcare Providers and Managed Care in Nigeria.
Its members include the Association of Nigeria Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP); Nigeria Dental Association (NDA), Guild of Medical Directors (GMD) and Guild of Medical Laboratory Scientist Directors, among others.
Arigbabuwo said that the general inflationary trends had affected the prices of goods and services across all sectors.
He said that service reimbursement mechanism and valuation for the private healthcare sector was not considered for review.
According to him, the tariffs recently released by HCPAN to Health Management Organisations (HMOs) is the ‘Minimum’ acceptable to HCPAN across the country.
“HCPAN Annual General Meeting held in 2020 released the reviewed tariffs, and they were matured for implementation,” Arigbabuwo said.
He said that for fairness and to allow the HMOs further grace to renegotiate with their corporate clients, a one-year grace was given till Dec. 7, 2021.
According to him, a need for periodic review of the tariffs will be conducted, considering the unpredictable current trends of increased costs of healthcare goods and services in the country.
“A clarion call was recently made as an open letter to the Minister of Health, that it was important to do an immediate review on the astronomical rise in the cost of healthcare goods.
“For example, intravenous infusions are being bought for between N650 and N800, while most HMOs will reimburse the provider facilities with between N250 and N350.
“Ditto with a lot of drugs and medicines too numerous to number or cite,” Arigbabuwo said.
He said that private healthcare provider facilities had remained the greatest and heaviest cross bearers of the private healthcare insurance across the country.
Arigbabuwo said that HMOs should see the intention and purposes of HCPAN as a product of fairness in good faith to keep the health insurance initiatives in Nigeria afloat.
According to him, health insurance remains the international best practice in healthcare financing, noting that 76.6 per cent of total healthcare financing still remains out-of-pocket payments in Nigeria.
Arigbabuwo complained that some HMOs owed providers debts in excess of 30 days, saying that henceforth, such HMOs would pay the debt with cumulative interest.
Also, Dr Raymond Kuti, the National President, Guild of Medical Directors (GMD), said that HCPAN was committed to giving quality healthcare to Nigerians.
Kuti said that quality healthcare was not cheap, thus the need to review tariffs to be commensurate with the care.
Commenting, Dr Iyke Odo, the National President, Association of Nigeria Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP), said that HCPAN wants appropriate pricing of healthcare services.
Odo said that HCPAN members took an oath to protect lives and would not be party to “slaverish healthcare provisions to Nigerians”. (NAN) (nannews.ng)