Development on Third Party Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities in Light of the Universal Health Care Act: Policy Analysis
Background. The Universal Health Care (UHC) Act seeks to delineate the roles of key agencies and stakeholders towards equity in access to quality and affordable health care. Under the pillar of health regulation, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is mandated to recognize third party accreditation mechanisms as a basis for granting incentives to health facilities that provide better service quality, efficiency, and equity.
Methods. A systematic review of literature was conducted to generate a policy brief that outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the current accreditation system, and how to address arising fragmentation issues in implementation based on international and local evidence. To generate recommendations from a multi-stakeholder approach, a roundtable discussion enjoined by all major stakeholders of the policy issue was conducted by the University of the Philippines Manila Health Policy Development Hub in collaboration with the Department of Health. Thematic analysis of the RTD and the literature review were utilized in crafting the position statement with the general aim of producing consensus policy recommendations, as inputs in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Act.
Results. Policy analysis using results of literature review and policy discussion was crafted, with thematically arranged recommendations in the domains of leadership and governance, financing and sustainability, standards development, program development, and continuing quality improvement that could help the national health system in determining third party accreditation mechanisms set forth by the UHC Act. Significant issues raised was the composition and requirements of the third party accreditor and the risks in transition.
Conclusion and Recommendation. With the PhilHealth Benchbook setting the standards and with the expressed commitment of stakeholders for third party accreditation, it is an opportune time for the UHC Act to institutionalize the accreditation mechanisms that will address existing challenges of PhilHealth accreditation. The literature review and discussion bring forth the proposed tool for the criteria in selecting third party accreditors.