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India Extending Digital Health Incentives

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The National Health Authority (NHA) has announced that the Digital Health Incentives Scheme (DHIS) under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) will be extended till 31 December 2023. Through DHIS, hospitals, diagnostic labs, and providers of digital health solutions like Hospital/Health Management Information Systems (HMIS) and Laboratory Management Information Systems (LMIS) will continue to receive incentives to embrace and facilitate digitisation under ABDM.

Introduced as a component of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, the DHIS became operational on 1 January 2023. According to a press release, this scheme played a crucial role in driving the adoption of digital health technologies and practices throughout the nation’s healthcare delivery system. Due to its positive impact and the enthusiastic response from healthcare providers and health tech companies, the scheme’s duration has been extended. This enables more stakeholders to reap the benefits of the financial incentives it offers.

A representative from NHA claimed that the extension reflects the organisation’s dedication to promoting an inclusive healthcare ecosystem through digital means. The move also showcases the government’s commitment to enhancing accessible and efficient healthcare services. Initiatives like DHIS are designed to acknowledge and incentivise healthcare providers and facilitators to work together, contributing to the development of a digitally empowered healthcare ecosystem.

Under the DHIS, eligible health facilities and digital solutions companies have the opportunity to earn financial incentives of up to IN 40 million (US$ 484,049) based on the number of digital health records created and linked to patients’ Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) numbers. This incentive is available to health facilities (hospitals, diagnostic labs) and Digital Solution Companies that are registered with ABDM’s Health Facility Registry (HFR) and meet the specified eligibility criteria of the scheme.

It is expected that the advantages provided to Digital Solution Companies through DHIS will result in cost reductions or be passed on to relevant healthcare facilities to help cover their digitisation expenses or other related costs.

Currently, a total of 1,205 health facilities have enrolled in this scheme, comprising 567 public and 638 private hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic labs. Out of the 25 digital solution companies registered, 22 belong to the private sector.

Up until June 2023, nearly 120 health facilities and 7 health tech companies have received incentives amounting to IN 48.4 million (US$ 585,362). The recipients of these incentives include government hospitals such as All India Institutes of Medical Science in Delhi, Raipur, and Bhopal, Lok Bandhu Rajnarayan Combined Hospital in Lucknow, and KC General Hospital in Bengaluru. Private hospitals and diagnostic labs are also among the beneficiaries.

The release said that NHA is consistently overseeing and assessing the efficacy of the DHIS concerning ABDM adoption and is prepared to make necessary adjustments regarding its continuation, modifications, budget, or any other aspects, whenever deemed necessary.

The press release also notes that the scheme will become effective on the date notified by the National Health Authority. Financial incentives under this scheme will only apply to transactions made by health facilities after the notified date. Incentives will be calculated monthly. The scheme is applicable to healthcare facilities operating in India and engaging in transactions within the country. This includes international teleconsultation, provided that at least one of the consulting doctors is located in India, regardless of the location of other doctors involved in the group consultation.


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