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Hospitals up in arms against delayed insurance claims

Sunday February 06 2022
Hospitals and insureres

Hospitals blacklisted three health insurers over unpaid claims. PHOTO | FILE

By MOSES K. GAHIGI

Private hospitals have faulted insurance companies for taking long to pay claims worth billions of francs.

Early in the week, the hospitals through their association blacklisted three insurance companies,
which they say have the highest amount of arrears.

The decision was, however, lifted after the Rwanda Development Board, the Central Bank, PSF and the Ministry of Health intervened and ordered the insurance companies to process all the pending claims and pay their arrears in four days. 

“We are really burdened by delayed payments, some of our members have gone for five and six months without getting any payment, others 10 months, it had become too much so we had to act,” said Dr Mugenzi Dominique Savio, the president of the private hospitals association. 

He said although they have not yet compiled the total arrears insurance companies owe private hospitals, many of their 170 members are affected by the delayed payments.

“We have had to declare and pay PAYE to RRA for the money that is still tied in delayed payments, March is almost here and many members have not yet been paid yet we have to pay PAYE, this exposes us to losses,” said Mr Mugenzi.

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He said after the after releasing the statement that blacklisting some insurers, a few of them rushed to make payments but others are still yet to pay, but that at least the move brought their problem to the forefront.

In an interview, Bliaise Uhagaze, executive secretary of the Rwanda medical insurers association said the reason why some claims have not been paid is because insurers saw fraud red flags in some of them. He said some of the hospitals have been reluctant to present electronic billing receipts.

“Every month the hospital has to send a statement to its insurance partner but there some that take up to eight months without making these statements and when they finally make them they want to be paid in one month," he said.

When this paper talked to Betty Sayinzoga, CEO of Sanlam, one of the insurers listed with arrears to pay, she said the way the matter was handled by the hospitals was inappropriate.

“I am not saying arrears are not there, we have them but it was unnecessary to create such a crisis, this is not something you can do in a mature market," she told Rwanda Today.

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