The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) bagged numerous awards in the 2022 Company of the Year (COYA) awards. The Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) has been carrying the COYA Awards for the last 18 years. COYA awards are a prestigious corporate event that acknowledges organizations that have adopted the Organizational Performance Index (OPI) Business Excellence framework. This recognition also integrates SME of the Year Awards (SMOYA) to design such enterprises to evolve into massive corporates as they contribute to national economic development.
NHIF has undergone reforms since the implementation of the 2018 Health Financing Reforms Expert Panel (HEFREP) appointed by the then government to develop NHIF’s reforms recommendations. HEFREP suggested 55 recommendations following extensive consultation with stakeholders and public participation across all 47 counties. The NHIF CEO, Dr Kamunyo, highlighted that the reforms are at various stages of implementation to transform NHIF into a sustainable institution, with members’ expectations at the centre of operations. The amendment of the NHIF Act took centre stage in the reforms process with the amendments like enforcement of mandatory contributions to all Kenyans, identifying and supporting the poor & vulnerable members of the society and cushioning the Fund against abuse either from fraudulent activities or high rates of default by contributors.
The NHIF (Amended) Act 2022 is critical in implementing UHC as it provides a legal framework that anchors the other reforms. Dr Kamunyo stated that the reform efforts recognized during the 2022 COYA awards align with the reforms NHIF has been implementing. The reforms include implementing Biometric registration & identification of all beneficiaries, adopting Electronic Claims Processing, and expanding the Healthcare Service Providers Network to Enhance Healthcare Services, which saw the Fund bag Winner of the Innovation, ICT, and Knowledge management award.
The Fund was also recognized as the winner in the Customer orientation and marketing category in line with reforms that saw the Fund Implement the Creation of Customer (Members, Employers & Health Care Providers) Self-Care Platforms to enable members to monitor their accounts on the frequency of usage of the principal account, query and check on their statements and receive an SMS notification on use at the point of service.
All these perspectives continue to ensure that the initiatives around the various anti-fraud programs are adhered to, thus reducing fraud losses. For example, NHIF’s customer orientation and marketing category included upgrading the Customer Experience Centre to a fully operational call centre as the Fund receives over 3,000 calls, 10,000 emails, and 50,000 short messages (SMS) on any given day. NHIF has also increased accessibility and enhanced digital and physical communications channels with 70 branches, 33 satellite officers and a presence in all Huduma centres countrywide.
The Fund has worked with communities over the years by ensuring tailor-made benefits packages that meet the population’s medical needs and are alive to the disease patterns and emerging health needs. NHIF has 15.6 million members registered, each with approximately three dependents.
While NHIF has had its share of challenges, there has been a deliberate strategy to turn around the negative perception and downward trends in operational issues to a profitable organization poised to deliver UHC, where no one should be left behind. As a result, NHIF overall bagged the Special judges’ Award for the most improved and consistent company in pursuit of excellence. In addition, NHIF was the 2nd runner-up winner of the COYA awards in 2022.
This article was first published on The Star – https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2022-12-13-nhif-bags-awards-in-annual-gala/