NHIS defies reps, begins HMOs reaccreditation
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) yesterday announced the commencement of reaccreditation of Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) in defiance of the House of Representatives resolution asking it to stop the process.
The agency announced reaccreditation process in a paid advertorial published by some newspapers yesterday, despite the lawmakers’ resolution last month ordering suspension of the process.
“In pursuance of its statutory responsibility, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has directed all HMOs to obtain letters of non-indebtedness from all health care providers on their network, as one of the prerequisites for reaccreditation of the HMOs,” the agency said in the advertorial.
The NHIS urged “Health care providers to fully cooperate with the HMOs, and issue the letters of nonindebtedness, using the approved template as to the HMOs.”
This is coming about a month after the House of Representatives ordered the suspension of the HMOs reaccreditation and immediate recall of the suspended Executive Secretary of the agency, Professor Usman Yusuf.
On July 7, the lawmakers passed a resolution which requested “The minister of health and the Acting Executive Secretary to stop henceforth every process of HMOs re-accreditation, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation mandated by the House. Request the minister to recall Prof Yusuf from suspension forthwith and allow him to continue with his sanitisation programme in the agency.”
The health minister has not complied with the lawmakers’ order of recalling the suspended NHIS chief.
The House said the suspension of the NHIS boss was ‘unacceptable and absurd’ because it was done following evidence he gave before a committee of the House investigating activities of HMOs in the country.
Yusuf had in June told the House Committee on Healthcare Services during the investigative hearing that HMOs squandered over N351 billion in 12 years and that they do not pay monies to service providers despite collecting same from NHIS.
The health minister had suspended Prof Yusuf over allegations of “procurement of a N58 million SUV” and “corrupt expenditure of N292 million” on health care training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority.” The NHIS boss has denied any wrongdoing.