FAP20 Fingerprint scanner National Health Insurance Fund use in kenya
Author: huifan Time: 2021-06-28
Launching Universal Health Coverage in Kenya
What is Universal Health Coverage (UHC)?
Universal Health Coverage means that all people can benefit from quality health services when and where they need them, without suffering financial hardship.
Building a People-Centered Health System
On December 12, 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta declared Universal Health Coverage (UHC) a national priority for Kenya as part of his country's "Four Agendas" for sustainable development. Under this initiative, the Kenyan government has committed to invest strategically in health to ensure that all Kenyans have access to the basic health services they need by 2022.
This rights-based approach is enshrined in Kenya's 2010 constitution to health and on this basis successive national health strategies have focused investment in the provision of five tiers of services across the health system in an effort to ensure geographical proximity to the overall legal framework that serves patients nationwide.
In 2013, user fees were removed from primary health care facilities to encourage the use of services  but challenges remain. Out-of-pocket costs still account for about 26.1% of total national health expenditures, which has an impact on patients' willingness to receive services or seek care, especially for problems considered more complex, such as cancer. This is exacerbated by the variability in the capacity of the health system at the district level, which has implications for the roll-out of essential interventions nationwide.
National Health Insurance Fund in Kenya
Before the use of biometric fingerprinting scanner
a crackdown on fraudulent claims by people using fake identities to seek health care and hospitals processing false claims.
"There were also instances where hospitals colluded with some of my officials to register people and give them cards. These cards don't have chips so it's not easy to track (false claims)."
The chief executive noted that some people have been using false identities to get free health care and defraud the fund.
The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) is turning to fingerprints to identify civil servants and their dependents in an effort to address the growing fraud in the state-funded health insurance program.
After using biometric fingerprints
Kenya launched biometric enrollment targeting civil servants and security agencies in an effort to improve systems and reduce fraud.
Registration will begin in Nairobi on September 1 and will record details of members and their dependents, including fingerprints, names and photographs.
NHIF Chief Executive Officer Simon ole Kirgotty said members will use smart cards to prove their identity at hospitals. The cards will use biometrics when the thumb is placed on the reader.
"Your finger cannot be similar to another person's," he added.
The adoption of biometric features by the private sector years ago has helped to curb fraud, resulting in an estimated 40% of total claims or Sh1.6 billion in lost revenue in 2009.
The process of registering the 250,000 members will begin at 21 sites in the capital. Registration for families will begin in October. NHIF members and their families must register in person.
Civil servants and security personnel are the first step as NHIF migrates its membership to a biometric system.
"With this initiative, the government aims to expand health insurance coverage from the current 17 million to 25 million by July 2017," said Health Minister James Macharia.
The government pays about Sh4.3 billion for the civil service health insurance scheme, which is administered by NHIF and renewed annually.
It replaces a system in which government workers received a monthly medical allowance of Sh375 to Sh2,490.
Officials at the Kenya National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) confirmed that it will use fingerprints and smart cards to identify its more than 6 million members in the fight against fraudsters.
Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Mwangi said the fund will begin biometric enrollment to capture details of NHIF members and their dependents, including fingerprints, names and photographs.
The program has seen people use fake identities to seek medical care and hospitals process false claims.
"It's something we started piloting with civil servants and it's working well, and next week we will start collecting biometric data for all members. Everything is ready to go," he said.
In 2015, NHIF began biometric registration of civil servants and security personnel as a first step in migrating its members to using smart cards for identification at hospitals.
These cards use biometrics to identify registered members when a person's thumb is placed on a card reader.
Fingerprints are not the same, so once the program is fully rolled out, it will be difficult to encounter such incidents in the future."