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PMJAY: Structure, Functions, and Improvements.



  May 03, 2024

PMJAY: Structure, Functions, and Improvements.



What is PMJAY?

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is a critical component of India's Ayushman Bharat initiative, launched in 2018 to move towards universal health coverage. This scheme aims to provide a health insurance cover of ?5 lakh per family per year, targeting over 12 crore families that represent the bottom 40% of India’s population. The scheme covers secondary and tertiary care hospitalization and has successfully issued 34.27 crore cards. Despite its vast scale, the program faces several operational challenges.

Challenges Facing PMJAY:

Delayed Payments: Hospitals have reported substantial delays in receiving payments for services rendered to PMJAY patients, which discourages their participation and can lead to hospitals refusing to treat PMJAY patients.

Capacity Issues: In several states, the number of families per empaneled healthcare provider is extremely high, leading to inadequate service delivery.

Quality of Care: The perceived quality of care in private hospitals often leads beneficiaries to prefer them over public hospitals, highlighting a trust deficit in the public health system.

Claim Rejections: High rates of claim rejections due to documentation errors or other technicalities pose additional barriers to treatment.

Suggestions for Improvement:

Enhanced Payment Mechanisms: Improving the efficiency and reliability of payment processes to hospitals could encourage more healthcare providers to participate and continue in the scheme.

Capacity Building: Strengthening the capacity of both public and private hospitals through infrastructure improvements and better resource distribution can help manage the patient load more effectively.

Public Trust in Healthcare: Investments in public hospitals to upgrade facilities and staff training could help improve the quality of care, thereby restoring public trust.

Simplification of Claims Process: Streamlining the documentation and claims process to minimize rejections and delays can enhance the scheme’s efficiency.

FAQs about PMJAY:

What does PMJAY cover?

PMJAY provides coverage for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization up to ?5 lakh per family per year without any cap on family size or age.

Who is eligible for PMJAY?

The scheme targets the poorest 40% of the population, identified based on deprivation and occupational criteria in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) database.

How can one enroll in PMJAY?

Eligible families do not need to apply; they are automatically identified through the SECC database and can access services through a PMJAY card.

What challenges does PMJAY face?

PMJAY faces challenges such as delayed payments to hospitals, capacity constraints in healthcare facilities, higher preference for private over public hospitals, and a high rate of claim rejections.

By addressing these key areas, PMJAY can enhance its sustainability and effectiveness, moving closer to achieving universal health coverage in India.


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