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51 lakh beneficiaries receive PM-JAY e-cards in Bihar

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1,70,281 cases of hospital admissions worth Rs 169 crore have been authorised under the scheme in the state

Implementation of Ayushman Bharat in Bihar has crossed a major milestone, as 51 lakh beneficiaries received their Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) e-cards. With this, e-cards have been issued to more than 24.19 lakh families which are 22 per cent of the eligible families.

AB PM-JAY is being implemented by the Bihar Swasthya Suraksha Samiti (State Health Agency, Bihar) AB PM-JAY in the state of Bihar. It is a flagship public health insurance/assurance scheme of the Government of India being jointly implemented with State counterparts. AB PM-JAY is the world’s largest publicly funded health assurance program. Around 10 per cent of beneficiary families (approx. 1.08 crore) under the scheme are from Bihar. As on, more than 51 lakh beneficiaries have been issued e-card. So far, 1,70,281 cases of hospital admissions worth Rs 169 crore have been authorised under the scheme in the state.

State Health Agency (SHA), Bihar has recently involved the services of 8,386 executive assistants of Department of Panchayati Raj to issue e-cards to beneficiary families in a mission mode since December 2019. The SHA is leveraging on their grassroots connection. As on, 9,32,267 e-cards have been issued by these Executive Assistants. The state is incentivising by paying them Rs 5 per card issued. Also, ASHA has been roped in for mobilising the community, for which they are being incentivised at the rate of Rs 100 per 20 families covered.

Dr Indu Bhushan, CEO, AB-PMJAY and National Health Authority said, “The Bihar team has done well and has been able to achieve a milestone of 50 lakhs e-cards issued to the beneficiaries. While Bihar has a long way to go in terms of health outcomes, given its unique challenges of health infrastructure and socio-economic development, this is an encouraging indicator of the potential of the state to ensure timely access to healthcare to the poor. We are working with the state and supporting them to set up the scheme mechanism with a robust, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure. We will also be lending full support to increase awareness about the scheme through a state-wide communication campaign and further strengthen and deepen the scheme by helping them get high-quality hospitals on board.”

Bihar Swasthya Suraksha Samiti (State Health Agency, Bihar) is using various innovative measures to provide increased access to inpatient care to the beneficiaries of the scheme. For this, efforts are being made to get more and more private hospitals on board to increase the network of empanelled hospitals. Currently, 800 hospitals including 230 private hospitals are empanelled under the scheme in the State.

Sanjay Kumar, Principal Secretary, Health, Government of Bihar said, “An e-card is a powerful tool to create awareness and empower beneficiaries of AB PM-JAY. With an e-card, a beneficiary can avail healthcare at any of the empanelled hospitals, anywhere in Bihar and in the country. We are constantly working to increase issuance of-cards to meet the targeted 1.08 crore families covered under the scheme in the state.”

Lokesh Kumar Singh, CEO, Bihar Swasthya Suraksha Samiti said, “While eligible families do not need an e-card to avail treatment under the scheme, an e-card is essentially a verification mechanism that is generated once the SHA approves the eligibility of the beneficiary based on basic details like mobile number, and supporting documents like Aadhaar. This process not only creates an e-Card for the existing member, but one can add any additional family members.”

With the implementation of AB PM-JAY in Bihar since September 2018, quality secondary and tertiary services are being provided to the beneficiaries as per the packages provided under this scheme. Fraud and abuse control mechanisms set up under the aegis of the National Health Authority, and best practices using advanced data analytics and medical audits have helped curb large malpractices from happening under the scheme in the state. Regular feedback from beneficiaries is being actively sought post-treatment to further enhance quality services to patients and identify any wrongdoing.

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