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Over 95% of NHI Bahamas beneficiaries satisfied with health care experience, according to new survey
Over 95% of NHI Bahamas beneficiaries satisfied with health care experience, according to new survey

Nassau, The Bahamas – November 29, 2018

A patient satisfaction survey conducted by the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has revealed that over 95% of beneficiaries were either very satisfied (57.64%) or satisfied (38.07%) with the health care experience they received from their NHI doctor. The survey, which was completed by 5,122 beneficiaries between July and November 2018, also received very positive feedback in terms of quality of service received, with 57.96% saying the quality was “very good” and 38.48% responding “good” respectively.

Other notable results from the patient satisfaction survey included the following:

  • Over 95% of beneficiaries strongly agreed (62.5%) or agreed (34.08%) with the statement, “My NHI doctor cares about my health”
  • When asked how long it took to get an appointment with their NHI doctor, over 95% of beneficiaries responded there was “no appointment required” (47.22%) or “1-7 days” (48.59%)
  • When asked to rate the NHI doctor’s office/facility in which they received care, the majority of beneficiaries responded, “very good” (52.6%) or “good” (43.4%)

“As we take steps to improve NHI Bahamas, it is encouraging to see that so many Bahamians have already had positive experiences with the program so far. The positive feedback collected from the patient satisfaction survey is testament to the good work NHI providers are doing to provide quality, affordable care to their patients. With the expansion of primary care services and the implementation of high cost care treatments for certain prevalent diseases, we expect even more Bahamians will be able to experience the benefits of the NHI program,” said Dr. Robin Roberts, Chairman of the NHIA Board.

On October 23rd, the NHIA launched a consultation period with stakeholders and members of the public to discuss proposed changes to the program. Bahamians are encouraged to review the policy paper online and submit their feedback through the online consultation survey.

 

Based on the feedback collected during the consultation period, the NHIA will then present recommendations to the Government of The Bahamas on the way forward for NHI Bahamas.

For more information on NHI Bahamas, visit www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

 

Contact the National Health Insurance Authority:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 242-396-8500

 

 

NHI Authority holds successful community and stakeholder meetings in Grand Bahama
NHI Authority holds successful community and stakeholder meetings in Grand Bahama

Freeport, Grand Bahama – November 7, 2018 – On November 5th and 6th, the NHIA visited Grand Bahama and had successful meetings with local residents in Freeport and Eight Mile Rock and representatives of the business community during which they engaged in meaningful dialogue on the proposed plan for NHI Bahamas. As part of the 45-day consultation period, community meetings and stakeholder consultations will continue until December 6, 2018.

 

“NHI Bahamas is changing to improve health outcomes for our country. I was pleased to see the level of interest from Grand Bahamians who came out to the community meetings and provided feedback on the way forward for NHI. It is important that Bahamians make their voice heard and contribute to the debate on the implementation of this program as we move towards universal healthcare in The Bahamas,” said Dr. Robin Roberts, Chairman of the NHIA Board.

 

“I was also encouraged by the productive discussions that were held with members of the business community and the support for the program that was voiced by the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce. It is integral that the NHIA collaborates with the private sector to ensure the successful and sustainable implementation of NHI Bahamas, which will lead to a healthier and more productive workforce.”

 

On November 15th, the NHIA will travel to Exuma to meet with local residents and stakeholders as consultations for NHI Bahamas continue. Exuma residents are encouraged to attend the following community meeting:

  • Thursday, November 15th at 6:00PM – LN Coakley High School, Moss Town

Consultations will continue throughout November and December with upcoming visits planned for Abaco, Eleuthera, Andros, Long Island and New Providence to hear from more Bahamians and stakeholder groups on NHI Bahamas.

 

Stakeholders and members of the public can also review the policy paper online and submit their feedback through the online consultation survey.

 

Based on the feedback collected during the consultation period, the NHIA will then present recommendations to the Government of The Bahamas on the way forward for NHI Bahamas.

For more information on NHI Bahamas, visit www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

 

Contact the National Health Insurance Authority:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 242-396-8500

NHI Authority hosting community meetings and stakeholder briefings in Grand Bahama to discuss revamped NHI program
NHI Authority hosting community meetings and stakeholder briefings in Grand Bahama to discuss revamped NHI program

Nassau, The Bahamas – November 1, 2018 – On October 23, 2018, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) launched a 45-day consultation period with stakeholders and the public to discuss proposed changes to the NHI program, as outlined in the policy paper, National Health Insurance: A Shared Responsibility. As part of the consultation process, the NHIA will be scheduling meetings with stakeholder groups and will be hosting community meetings in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.

On November 5th and 6th, the NHIA will be in Grand Bahama to meet with local residents and stakeholders to answer questions and receive feedback on the proposed plan for NHI Bahamas. Grand Bahamians are encouraged to attend the following community meetings:

  • Monday, November 5that 6:00PM – Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Eight Mile Rock
  • Tuesday, November 6th at 6:00PM – Church of the Ascension, Freeport

“As we take steps to improve the NHI program to better meet the needs of Bahamians, it is important that we hear from residents and stakeholder groups across the archipelago. We will start in Grand Bahama and also have plans to travel to Abaco, Exuma, Eleuthera, Andros, Long Island and New Providence to discuss the new direction for NHI and hear from a broad spectrum of Bahamians on what they think is the best way forward to improve health care in The Bahamas,” said Dr. Robin Roberts, Chairman of the NHIA Board.

“We acknowledge there have been some questions raised by stakeholder groups regarding the plan and we welcome their feedback and that of the public. The goal of the consultation process is to collaboratively establish the new framework for NHI which will improve health outcomes for The Bahamas as we continue on the path to Universal Healthcare Coverage.”

 

The NHIA will also consult with representatives of the business community in Grand Bahama to discuss proposed changes to the program.

“On behalf of the local business community, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce supports the consultation process and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the proposed framework for the new National Health Insurance program. Businesses understand the importance of a healthy and productive workforce and we look forward to meeting with the NHI Authority to discuss their proposal,” said Mick Holding, President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce.

For persons and stakeholders who are unable to attend these meetings, they can submit their feedback through the online consultation survey which can be accessed here:

https://www.cognitoforms.com/NationalHealthInsuranceAuthority/NHIAPolicyPaperFeedback

 

Based on the feedback collected during the consultation period, the NHIA will then present recommendations to the Government of The Bahamas on the way forward for NHI Bahamas.

For more information on NHI Bahamas, visit www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

 

Contact the National Health Insurance Authority:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 242-396-8500

NHI Authority to hold consultations on proposed changes to NHI program
NHI Authority to hold consultations on proposed changes to NHI program

Nassau, The Bahamas – October 23, 2018 – Today, Dr. Robin Roberts, Chairman of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Board, announced that the National Health Insurance (NHI) program will be undergoing a transformation to better suit the needs of Bahamians and stakeholders. As part of its efforts to reposition NHI Bahamas for success, the NHIA has launched a 45-day consultation period with stakeholders to discuss proposed changes to the program – a program which is grounded in Bahamian values of shared responsibility, fairness, commitment to the community, and working forward, upward, onward, together for better health and health care in The Bahamas.

 

Since the launch of NHI Bahamas in April 2017, approximately 40,000 beneficiaries have enrolled in the program with high levels of satisfaction reported by persons who are receiving primary care services. For example, over 85% of NHI beneficiaries rated the overall quality of service with their NHI physician as “excellent” or “good”, according to a recent patient satisfaction survey conducted by the NHIA. Patients also reported that NHI gives them peace of mind and comfort, as it removes some of the barriers to accessing quality care.

 

As part of the launch of the consultation period, the NHIA released a policy paper, entitled National Health Insurance: A Shared Responsibility, which outlines the proposed policy framework for the revamped NHI program. Under the new proposal, NHI promises to be affordable, realistic, and sustainable, with a goal to act as a catalyst for change in the way Bahamians experience health care.

 

The new direction proposes that primary care services be expanded to include cancer screening programs and diagnostic imaging. In addition, coverage will be further expanded beyond just primary care to include treatment for certain common diseases in The Bahamas: breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, rectum cancer, cervical cancer, heart attack, need for a pacemaker, and end stage kidney disease.

 

“As a physician and a citizen of The Bahamas, I know there are barriers that can prevent persons from accessing essential health care services – the consequences of which can be devastating. For too long, many of our citizens have had to rely on cookouts to help fund expensive treatments, or forego receiving treatment altogether when they have fallen ill because they couldn’t afford it. We are aiming to end that trend over time. It is vitally important that stakeholders in our community have the opportunity to provide their feedback on the proposed direction of NHI Bahamas, and we welcome meaningful engagement on the new way forward to improving care for our citizens,” said Dr. Robin Roberts, Chairman of the NHIA Board.

 

The model for NHI Bahamas that was previously launched was unsustainable for the country. The new model promotes shared responsibility, access, accountability, quality and fairness – all while staying firm to a commitment of improving the way patients experience care.

 

Through a proposed shared financial responsibility between employers, citizens and the government, quality healthcare services will be made accessible for all Bahamians in a way that is affordable and fair. Moving away from a single payer model to a shared responsibility approach will make the program more sustainable for generations to come, and allow for NHI to continually expand its benefits coverage over time.

 

“Bahamians know the importance of community and we stand together when times get tough as our brothers’ keeper. Nowhere is this more apparent than when it comes to health care. We are coming together at a national level to care for one another and remove barriers to accessing treatment for serious diseases. With this new model for NHI Bahamas, we anticipate tremendous improvement to the overall health of our population over time,” said Dr. Roberts.

 

Lastly, to promote healthy lifestyles for Bahamians, the NHIA is intending to launch a wellness program that educates persons on how to live healthier lives and prevent diseases.

 

The policy paper is posted on the NHI Bahamas website for stakeholders and the public to review. Stakeholders and members of the public have 45 days to submit their responses through the online consultation survey which can be accessed here: https://www.cognitoforms.com/NationalHealthInsuranceAuthority/NHIAPolicyPaperFeedback

 

The NHIA will also be scheduling individual meetings with stakeholder groups and will be hosting town hall meetings in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands during the consultation period.

 

Based on the feedback collected during the consultation period, the NHIA will then present recommendations to the Government of The Bahamas on the way forward for NHI Bahamas.

For more information on NHI Bahamas, visit www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

 

 

Contact the National Health Insurance Authority:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 242-396-8500

 

 

 

 

Backgrounder: “National Health Insurance: A Shared Responsibility” Policy Paper
Backgrounder: “National Health Insurance: A Shared Responsibility” Policy Paper

Nassau, The Bahamas – October 23, 2018 – Today, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) released a policy paper, entitled National Health Insurance: A Shared Responsibility, which outlines the proposed policy framework for advancing the National Health Insurance (NHI) program. Under the new proposal, NHI Bahamas promises to be affordable, realistic, and sustainable, with a goal to act as a catalyst for change in the way Bahamians experience health care.

 

The purpose of the paper is to present key stakeholders with a vision for the Bahamian health system and policy expansion of NHI Bahamas, for their input and feedback. Expansion of the NHI benefits package include:

  • Expanded primary care benefits package
  • Coverage for treatment of certain chronic illnesses (“high cost care program”)

 

The new direction proposes that primary care services be expanded to include cancer screening programs and diagnostic imaging. The new benefits will include comprehensive cancer screenings for the most common cancers in The Bahamas, many of which are easily treated with appropriate care. The new diagnostic imaging services will include various x-rays and ultrasounds, such as prenatal ultrasounds. The impact of this expanded primary care program will be to make preventative care accessible and affordable, and with a greater impact on our total well being.

 

In addition, a high cost care program will be implemented to include comprehensive coverage for select conditions or treatments, all of which have a high prevalence in The Bahamas, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, cervical cancer, ischemic heart disease (heart attack), pacemaker needs and end-stage kidney disease.

 

Several other components to the proposed framework are also outlined in the policy paper.

  • A national wellness program
  • A Standard Health Benefit (SHB)
  • Employer/employee shared insurance coverage (“Employer Mandate”)
  • Risk equalization amongst private health insurers
  • Focused role for the NHIA as a public payer
  • Quality improvement in the delivery of health services

 

Concurrently with NHI, a national wellness program will be rolled out, which will include initiatives aimed at improving the health of the population over time. The program will focus on prevention, health education, health promotion, and community outreach programs and will be funded through taxation of certain unhealthy products, such as sugary drinks.

 

A Standard Health Benefit (SHB) will be established to ensure all health insurance plans in The Bahamas offer the same benefits package outlined by NHI to all Bahamians – this includes the expanded primary care package and the high cost care program. All licensed health insurance providers will be required to provide the SHB at the same cost, including private plans with comprehensive coverage.

 

The establishment of an Employer Mandate will require businesses and employees to share the cost of the SHB premium – with some exemptions outlined in the policy paper. It is estimated that employees will pay 2% of their salary to a maximum of $42 per month, with the employer paying the remainder of the premium. The Employer Mandate will be phased in, starting in January 2020 for businesses with over 100 employees, then eventually will be expanded to include all employers over the coming years. Employers will be responsible for providing the SHB to full-time and part-time employees working over 15 hours per week.

 

Risk equalization will be used to keep premiums affordable and maintain the insurance industry’s focus on innovation and delivering effective models of care. The intention of risk equalization to promote fairness by adjusting the risk profile of an individual insurer to equalize with the national risk pool of all insured Bahamians.

 

Under the new model, the NHIA will act as the public payer focused on helping those who do not fall under the Employer Mandate, including children, retirees, non-working spouses and unemployed persons. Moving away from a single-payer model to a shared responsibility with a single pricing approach will make NHI Bahamas more affordable and sustainable and aligns with the Government of The Bahamas’ commitment to fiscal responsibility.

 

Lastly, an important aspect of the proposed new framework seeks to position NHI Bahamas as a catalyst for change in the way Bahamians experience health care – by implementing a values-based payment system that incentivizes providers to improve the quality of care. By tying a portion of provider compensation to service quality, providers are incentivized to follow best practice guidelines, be proactive and preventative in their approach to care, and collaborate with each other for the good of the patient.

 

The policy paper is posted on the NHI Bahamas website for stakeholders and the public to review. Stakeholders and members of the public have 45 days to submit their responses through the online consultation survey which can be accessed here: https://www.cognitoforms.com/NationalHealthInsuranceAuthority/NHIAPolicyPaperFeedback

The NHIA will also be scheduling individual meetings with stakeholder groups and will be hosting town hall meetings in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands during the consultation period.

 

Based on the feedback collected during the consultation period, the NHIA will then present recommendations to the Government of The Bahamas on the way forward for NHI Bahamas.

 

 

For more information on NHI Bahamas, visit www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

 

National Health Insurance: A Shared Responsibility

 

Contact the National Health Insurance Authority:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 242-396-8500

September Beneficiary Newsletter
September Beneficiary Newsletter

National Health Insurance Authority Launches Patient Satisfaction Survey
National Health Insurance Authority Launches Patient Satisfaction Survey

Nassau, The Bahamas – July 12, 2018 – Since the launch of the enrolment phase of NHI Bahamas in April 2017, approximately 35,000 beneficiaries have enrolled in the program. Now that the NHI program has been operational for over a year, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is preparing to launch a Patient Satisfaction Survey to obtain information from beneficiaries on the quality of NHI services to date.

The survey, which will be conducted by phone with beneficiaries over the summer months, will comprise of a variety of questions relating to NHI Bahamas, including the overall experience, timeliness of care, patient-doctor relationship, and prevention and health education. Upon completion of the survey, the results will be posted on the NHI Bahamas website.

“The Government of The Bahamas understands the importance of providing access to affordable, quality healthcare services for Bahamians,” said the Minister of Health, Dr. Duane Sands. “By revamping the NHI program, we intend to drive meaningful improvement in the quality of healthcare services in The Bahamas in an affordable and sustainable manner. This will include the introduction of a high cost care plan, which is being designed to ensure over time that Bahamians will not have to suffer financial hardship in order to receive treatment for serious illness or injury.”

The high cost care program is currently in the planning stages and will be phased in over a number of years. By receiving feedback from beneficiaries on the services they have received so far, the NHIA will have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the existing program, which will be leveraged to inform the high cost care component of NHI Bahamas.

“We are putting patients at the centre of NHI services and have placed an emphasis on providing quality services while safeguarding the personal information of beneficiaries,” said Dr. Robin Roberts, Chairman of the NHIA Board. “This survey is a first in The Bahamas and will allow us to get important feedback from beneficiaries that will ultimately lead to the improvement of services to address patient needs.”

In addition to identifying strengths and weaknesses in the delivery of existing NHI services, the survey results will be utilized to improve policies to make them practical and effective, and will assist in rectifying issues that may discourage beneficiaries from accessing affordable healthcare or compromise customer satisfaction.

This survey is part of a series of ongoing quality assurance and quality improvement exercises that will be undertaken by the NHIA, with the overall aim of ensuring that NHI Bahamas provides quality care to all beneficiaries.

For more information on NHI Bahamas, visit www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

 

 

Contact the National Health Insurance Authority:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 242-396-8500

 

 

National Health Insurance Authority Board Members Announced
National Health Insurance Authority Board Members Announced

Nassau, The Bahamas – July 26th, 2017 — Today, the composition of the Board of Directors of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) was announced. The Board has been appointed in accordance with the National Health Insurance Act, 2016. Dr. Robin Roberts has been named Chairman and Mrs. Judith Whitehead has been named Deputy Chairman.

The Board will effectively act as the governing body that performs the functions and exercises the powers of the NHIA and reports to the Minister responsible for National Health Insurance. The Board will oversee and work closely with the NHI Bahamas technical team to review, plan and operationalize the overall strategy and operations of the NHI Bahamas programme.

In addition to the Chair and Vice-chair, the Board includes the following individuals:

  • Robin Roberts, Chairman
  • Judith A. Whitehead, Deputy Chairman
  • Terneille Burrows, Member
  • Barbara Henderson-Wilson, Member
  • Emmanuel Komolafe, Member
  • Montgomery Braithwaite, Member
  • Bernard Evans, Member
  • Leyvon Miller, Member
  • Eugene Marcus Cooper, Member
  • Pearl McMillan, Ex-Officio Member
  • Graham Whitmarsh, Ex-Officio Member
  • Nicola Virgill-Rolle, Ex-Officio Member
  • Michele Fields, Ex-Officio Member
  • Lillian Quant-Forbes, Ex-Officio Member

While these Ex Officio members will play an important role advising and supporting the work of the Board and the NHIA, they do not have a formal voting position.

Among its various functions, the NHIA will:

  • Implement the plan for NHI Bahamas to facilitate the provision of modern, affordable, and accessible health care services to all eligible Bahamians
  • Establish and implement mechanisms for quality assurance in the delivery of health care and wellness benefits and services under NHI Bahamas
  • Promote improved methods and levels of efficiency in the delivery of health care and wellness benefits and services on the road to Universal Health Coverage in The Bahamas

The establishment of the NHIA Board is a significant milestone for the evolution of NHI Bahamas. The Board will explore, among other decisions, financing mechanisms for NHI Bahamas and the expansion of services beyond primary health care, laying the framework for the provision of catastrophic health coverage for the people of The Bahamas.

Since the roll-out of Phase 3 of NHI Bahamas, Primary Health Care services, over 27,000 Bahamians have enrolled in the programme and are eligible to access primary care services with no cost at point of care.

The NHIA will continue to provide updates to the public and stakeholders on the progression and potential changes to the programme.

More information on NHI Bahamas can be found at www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

Contact the NHI Secretariat:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 396-8500

 

 

 

Adjustments to NHI Enrolment Locations on New Providence
Adjustments to NHI Enrolment Locations on New Providence

Nassau, The Bahamas – July 13, 2017 — As NHI Bahamas continues to identify cost savings and efficiencies in an effort to streamline the organization’s operations and budget, it has been determined that the last day to access NHI enrolment services at Cotton Tree Plaza, on Bernard Road, will be Friday July 14th, 2017.

As of Monday July 17th, 2017, Stationary in-person enrolment activities on New Providence will be managed out of the NHI Bahamas Headquarters on East Street and Purpose Way. Customer service representatives will be available to enrol eligible Bahamians for the programme during the hours of 9:00am-5:00pm (Monday-Friday). Recognizing the need for enrolment activities in various communities, regular mobile/popup enrolment activities will continue to occur on a scheduled basis. Please look out for announcements detailing the locations for these in-community enrolments in the near future.

Over 25,000 Bahamians and legal residents have enrolled into the NHI Bahamas programme to date and selected their doctors from the public or private sector. Enrolment continues to remain open for persons who wish to receive physician and laboratory Primary Care services at no cost at point of care.

Residents in the Family Islands can also continue to enrol online or in-person at their local NIB office.

For the fastest and most convenient option, eligible persons are encouraged to enrol online at www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

Registration for the NIB Smart Card is managed out of the NIB Headquarters and at the Carmichael Road office in New Providence, as well as NIB offices throughout the Family Islands during normal business hours.

 

Contact NHI Bahamas:

Email: info@nhibahamas.gov.bs

Phone: 396-8500

 

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