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Centre asks states to integrate beneficiaries’ health records with ABHA

The Centre has directed all state administrations to link the health records of the beneficiaries of different health schemes with the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID to maximize health insurance benefits to people.

The lack of integration of health records with the Ayushman Bharat ID means patients and doctors are unable to get all the benefits of the digital health mission.

Union health secretary Apurva Chandra has taken this up with the states. The unique digital health ID—ABHA—is a part of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) which aims to create a digital health ecosystem in the country.

Digitalizing health records
The ABHA ID enables citizens to authenticate, access and manage their health records digitally and facilitates hospital and doctors’ appointments, helping patients avoid queues for registration at healthcare facilities.

As of 20 May, over 618 million ABHA IDs had been created. However, states are unable to meet 100% compliance for ABHA seeding on different health portals of the government. For instance, the National Communicable Disease (NCD) portal has about 534 million beneficiaries but only 84 million beneficiaries are linked to Ayushman Bharat ID.

Similarly, the sickle cell programme portal has 29 million beneficiaries, but only 89,000 beneficiaries are integrated with ABHA ID. The reproductive and child health (RCH) progamme has around 542 million beneficiaries but only approx. 1.5million with digital health IDs.

Additionally, the National Viral Hepatitis Control Program (NVHCP) and Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme (PMNDP) have linked 5600 and 17,000 beneficiaries with digital health accounts respectively.

Huge value proposition
“The value proposition of ABDM is huge, as citizens will be able to view and share all their health records. In order to facilitate this, it is vital that all programmes successfully complete the development of milestone 1, milestone 2, and milestone 3. Further, via health facility registry and health professional registry, the ABDM platform has to be utilized to the optimum extent,” said Chandra in a letter to the states/UT seen by Mint.

These milestones are: Creation of ABHA IDs for beneficiaries; linking digital health records with ABHA; and the sharing of digital health records.

“Though States have taken huge interest in creation of the IDs, but non-linking of health records with these IDs, is not allowing the stakeholders including the patients from reaping of the digital health records,” said Chandra.

These milestones include creating ABHA ID for their beneficiaries, linking their digital health records with ABHA and sharing of digital health records.

The mission is being implemented by the National Health Authority (NHA) ensuring data privacy and safety. Medical records are made available to anyone only with the consent of the patient.

Queries sent to the health ministry spokesperson remained unanswered. LiveMint

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