In an effort to continue improvements on its collection of payments, while maintaining accessible high-quality healthcare for all residents and visitors, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) is extending its Payment Policy to the pharmacy. This will require that all prescriptions are paid for at the time of service.
The change will come into effect 1st January 2016 as a part of its broad strategy to improve collections. Jonathan Tibbetts, Chairman of the HSA Board, said that “the policy has already been working well for elective surgeries in the Operating Theatre and will be phased in across the HSA.”
Ms Lizzette Yearwood, CEO of the HSA, noted, “our community is taking some time to adjust to the insurance-based model which was put in place in 2000. In the old model, care was provided to the population by the Government’s then Health Services Department which was funded by General Revenue. With the implementation of the Health Insurance Law everyone is required to have health insurance, however, there still remains a portion of our population that is uninsured or underinsured. This is our self-pay population which continues to drive our bad debt.”
Ms Yearwood explained how this policy will improve health services in the Cayman Islands. “A healthy population is the ultimate goal for all of us in the healthcare industry. Population health is dependent on access to healthcare. Provision of healthcare is dependent on adequate levels of funding. Improving our collections will allow us to broaden our scope of services and expand our facilities. With this policy, we are calling on all residents to do their part and help us help everyone in our community,” she said.
“The HSA recognises that there may still be some individuals who need further financial assistance”, Ms Yearwood said and noted that for qualified persons assistance may be available through the Needs Assessment Unit. She encouraged those individuals to watch out for further public announcements on specific criteria and the application process.
“Like every other healthcare provider in the world, the HSA is facing significant challenges in regards to the cost of providing healthcare. Full implementation of our Payment Policy is critical to continued funding of our operations,” Ms Yearwood concluded.