ACCESS Health India recently initiated a webinar series titled “AyushmanSamvad”. Theseries intends to reach out to and foster discussions with key stakeholders of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY). These webinars are first in the series of conversations that ACCESS Health intends to facilitate on an ongoing basis.

ACCESS Health supported the State Agency for Comprehensive Health Insurance and Integrated Services(SACHIS), the State Health Agency for PM-JAY in Uttar Pradesh,tostart a series of three webinars which were held on June 24, July 3 and July 10, 2020. These webinars were to initiate a dialogue with its Private Provider Partners to facilitate resumption of services post the COVID-19 lockdown. After the first webinar on June 24, 2020, the pre auths number increased from 279 to 995 just the week after. There was a growth of +257% within a few days. To date there is an overall 24% increase in utilization of services after the three webinars

SACHIS partners with over 2500 public and private hospitals. The lockdown has affected the service utilization of PM-JAY significantly;with a decline of 67 percent recorded during the period. While service uptake is gradually resuming, SACHIS aim to proactively engage with its provider network to solve operational barriers to ensure continuity of services.

Overall 143 hospitals across 66 districts participated in the three webinars. Participants included hospital owners, administrators, medical coordinators, Arogya Mitras and district implementation units. ACCESS Health facilitated the discussion to orient the participants on the state guidelines to resume all services and protocols to be followed, human resource planning, information and awareness and infection prevention guidelines.

SACHIS reiterated the requirement of complying with COVID- 19 testing for all patients registering for Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) and the packages introduced under PM-JAY.  Some of the queries clarified during the webinar were related to process and payment modalities for COVID-19 testing for SARI cases, reimbursements for personal protective kits under PM-JAY, biomedical waste management and infection prevention control protocols for all facilities; treatment guidelines for mild and moderate COVID-19 cases, at public and private testing sites in the districts.

Besides hosting a webinar, ACCESS Health is also supporting SACHIS in reaching out to the providers to resume services. ACCESS Health is continuously monitoring the outcome post the webinars.