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Tariff dispute: NHIS brokers truce between healthcare providers, HMOs

The National Health Insurance Scheme Monday resolved the dispute between Health Care Providers (HCPs) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).

The National Health Insurance Scheme Monday resolved the dispute between Health Care Providers (HCPs) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).

The NHIS, in a statement by its spokesman, Emmanuel Ononokpono, said this was to avoid service disruption. 

Hospitals, under the aegis of Health Care Providers Association of Nigeria (HCPAN) and other associate bodies, had earlier announced plans to drop HMOs and imposed a new tariff structure for private health insurance from today.

The statement said at a meeting convened at the instance of the NHIS Executive Secretary, Prof Mohammed Sambo,  the parties “reached an interim but mutual understanding aimed at ensuring that a potential crisis is averted and persons operating health insurance on a private basis are not stranded.”

Sambo said the NHIS was the only legally recognized body that has the authority to come up with services tariffs for health insurance in the country.

When contacted, HCPAN President, Jimi Arigbabuwo, confirmed that the planned contract termination with HMOs had been put on hold.

“The NHIS has also directed the health care providers being owed by HMOs to forward the indebtedness to NHIS for reconciliation so that such HMOS can pay the debts.

“February 7 has been specifically chosen as the deadline cum ultimatum to complete the final document as well as work on the agreement. So, HCPAN and HMCAN are on completion of a common tariff reconciliation mission for now,” he said.

Also, Chairman, HMCAN, Leke Oshunniyi,  said discussions at a meeting in Lagos with healthcare providers were amicable, saying “though no concrete decisions were taken, the parties agreed on some market research and resolved to continue the discussions this week to meet the February 7 deadline.”