New Delhi: The implementation of the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) will help public health experts and scientists get access to large volumes of data sets, which will facilitate research.

“It will also create federated personal health records (PHR) framework to solve twin challenges of access to health data by patients and availability of health data for medical research, critical for advancing our understanding of human health," said Vinod K. Paul, member (health), NITI Aayog.

The government think tank had recently released the National Health Stack, the digital infrastructure to create a registry that aims to be the single source of pan-India master health data. It will also include unique digital health IDs, supply chain management for drugs and payment gateways across all health programmes, and health data dictionaries.

“The scheme will help in generating large volumes of data that may be used later for designing better and targeted health programmes. This will assist in effective medical management; in studying the impact of including or excluding specific diseases, populations or coverages; and in optimising costs and improving efficiencies," said a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-PwC report on AB-NHPM released last week.

The nationwide database for health records can “later be used innovatively for improvement of access to and quality of healthcare services in the country," the report said. “The scheme will also help in enriching the database of hospitals registered with the Registry of Hospitals in Network of Insurance (ROHINI) system and the human capital captured under the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR) project," it added.

ROHINI is a registry of hospitals in the health insurer and third-party administrator network.

NHRR is India’s maiden healthcare establishment census to collect data of public and private healthcare centres.

The project aims to strengthen evidence-based decision making and develop a platform for citizen- and provider-centric services by creating a repository of India’s healthcare resources.

“We have asked the hospitals to create their own portals within their precincts on a voluntary basis to showcase their performance. This will also help in generating more data," said Preeti Sudan, secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.

The ministry said it was also working on enriching the ROHINI system through large-scale empanelment and registration of hospitals by removing inefficiencies such as non-reporting, under-reporting and delays in transmission of public health data.

“There should be better fraud management at the provider level due to the generation of unique IDs for each hospital and improving claim efficiencies. It will also address the issue of unavailability of private sector health resource data, health infrastructure, equipment and other important data points," the CII-PwC report said.

The national health insurance scheme will be implemented through over 300,000 common service centers (CSCs) across the country. CSCs are access points with basic computing infrastructure run and operated by a local entrepreneur. These centres will help beneficiaries to identify their names in the ministry of health database and their entitlements under the scheme.

AB-NHPM, popularly known as ‘Modicare’ and billed as world’s largest health assurance scheme, will provide 5 lakh insurance cover, per family per year, to over 1 million poor households, or 50 million people, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

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