To review the importance of evidence-based methods in health insurance reimbursement for achieving universal health coverage in India.
A narrative literature review was performed.
The out-of-pocket (OOP) healthcare expenditure in India is among the highest in the world. This situation is despite the implementation of numerous government health schemes and the availability of a large number of health insurance programs, both public and private. Compromised quality of care in many public healthcare facilities is a major factor driving the average Indian citizen to increasingly depend upon private healthcare facilities, further escalating OOP spending. The low awareness and poor uptake of insurance policies among Indians is one of the biggest challenges in the implementation of universal health coverage (UHC) in India. The catastrophic burden of high OOP expenses on individual households could be reduced by taking steps to enhance health insurance uptake, which can be in turn achieved by strengthening the healthcare reimbursement system in India.
The application of the principles of evidence-based healthcare for reimbursement requires the systematic assessment of all health technologies, which is already being done in developed countries. The enactment of health schemes such as Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and setting up of Health Technology Assessment in India are steps toward reducing OOP expenditure and achieving UHC in India. We review the importance and challenges of evidence-based reimbursement and health technology assessment toward achieving UHC in India.
Amit Dang Dimple Dang B.N. Vallish