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Digital Health Incentive Scheme

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June 24, 2024

Why in news?

The central government has recently given a year-long extension to the Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS).

What is Digital Health Incentive Scheme?

  • Launch – The scheme was launched by the National Health Authority (NHA) in 2023.

National Health Authority is the successor of the National Health Agency which was constituted in 2019 and has a full functional autonomy. It is the apex body responsible for implementing AB-PMJAY and National Digital Health Mission.

  • Aim – It is meant for digitising patients’ health records and linking them with the Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Account (ABHA ID).
  • It also aims to promote digital health transactions and to provide a boost to the healthcare providers for adopting digital health. 

ABHA ID is a unique identity for people just like an Aadhaar ID that allows one to store and share their medical records digitally which includes records such as doctor’s prescriptions, diagnostic test results. 

  • Eligibility – All Health facilities like Clinics, Nursing Homes & Hospitals.
  • Laboratory/Radiology diagnostics Centers and Pharmacies.
  • Entities providing ABDM enabled digital solutions (Digital Solution Companies).

Public digital solution companies includes companies such as National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), which provide eHospital and eSushrut solutions to government hospitals.  

  • Beneficiaries – The Tier 1 and 2 cities in India have been the main beneficiaries of digital healthcare services.
  • The scheme is applicable to both public and private hospitals and digital solution companies (DSCs) creating digital health records.

                 ABDM

  • Incentives – Under the scheme, government and private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic labs, and pharmacies are paid Rs 20 for each additional record they digitise, over and above the threshold of 100 transactions a month.
  • Under it, each facility or digital solution company can earn incentives up to Rs 4 crores.

               DHISIncentives

Why DHIS is extended?

  • Extension – DHIS will now remain in effect till June 30, 2025.
  • Need for extension – It is meant to incentivise providers of digital health solutions such as hospital’s health management information system (HMIS) and laboratory management information system (LMIS) to make available the right software at an affordable cost.
  • Impact on hospitals – The scheme helps reimburse hospitals their expenditure on digitising their facility as this expenditure was often reported as a significant drawback for hospitals to move to digital health. 
  • Hospitals and clinics have to install computers and laptops, purchase an internet connection, and software (HMIS/LMIS) to go digital.
  • A behaviour change component is also involved in moving from physical mode of working to digital.   
  • The scheme is on the lines of the incentives given for promotion of UPI.
  • Significance – This extension will help health facilities adopt the essential digital tools they need for their operations.

How DHIS can be beneficial for the patients?

DHISBenefits

  • Better servicesDHIS equips the care providers to become digital, thereby enabling better healthcare services and more convenience for patients.
  • Reduced waiting time – By enabling digital transactions the patient’s waiting time gets reduced. Patients will be able to scan a QR code and avail quick OPD registrations.
  • Access of medical records - They can also securely view, access, and share their health records with the care providers.
  • Reduced burden on patient - Without the scheme, hospitals are likely to recover the digitisation costs from the patients.
  • Saving money – Patients are less likely to get same tests done repeatedly due to loss of records, especially in cases of migrant workers and patients travelling from one state to another. 
  • Health insurance – This provides access to better health insurance for older people.  

 References 

  1. The Indian Express| Extension of DHIS

ABDM| Digital Health Incentive Scheme

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