Doctors at Bac Ninh Traditional Medicine Hospital scan health insurance card for a patient (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Incomplete data is among the issues hindering the application of information technology in health insurance, according to a report by the Ministry of Health’s Health Insurance Department.

As part of a health insurance medical information system rolled out last June and described as the optimal solution to ensure transparency and prevent insurance fraud, the transmission of electronic data in health insurance management and payment is facing challenges due to continuous changes in local health service facilities, said the report.

These were changes to technical and medical equipment, medicine and other health related items.

Others issues, according to the report, relate to the difficulties in hiring IT service companies to help health insurance agencies follow the Government’s rules on using information systems in health insurance.

In particular, some documents issued by Vietnam Health Insurance are not synchronised with the Ministry of Health’s instructions on the hiring of IT companies to install medical infomation systems for health insurance management and payment

The problems were found mostly at health insurance authorities at grass-root levels where many staff lack qualifications to record data about patients’ tests and treatments and therefore information transmitted to social insurance agencies for payment is often not sufficiently clear, said the report.

A lack of both quantity and quality of IT facilities such as computers and network servers at local health insurance agencies is also hindering the application of IT in their management works.

A majority of hospitals and clinics have not installed information medical systems with a capacity to import the required data, which often includes many figures.

Moreover, most health care workers have not been trained in IT and find it hard to adapt to the medical information system.

Deputy Minister of Health Le Tuan, told the Vietnam Economic Times recently that although this year was promoted as the threshold year for implementing the National Assembly’s resolution on boosting the linkage of health care data between healthcare systems and health insurance and social insurance, the connection is still very limited due to problems in sending and receiving data.

According to another report delivered by Pham Luong Son, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Social Security at a conference held in January, 99.5 percent of medical facilities nationwide have been linked to the health insurance medical information assessment system since its launch, except for 65 commune-level health stations in remote areas without electricity access.

The health insurance medical information assessment system received some 68.9 million dossiers requesting insurance payments worth 35 trillion VND (1.55 billion USD) in the last six months of 2016, and another 3 million requesting insurance payments of 2 trillion VND (88.6 million USD) in the first month of 2017, the report said.-VNA