New NHIF information system to enhance quality and efficiency of management and funding of Bulgarian health system
On 14 September, the Bulgarian Minister of Health, Professor Radoslav Gaydarski, and Jimmy Char, General Manager of Bull Bulgaria and the manager of the consortium, signed a contract to implement a new, integrated information system for the country’s National Healthcare Insurance Fund (NHIF).
The launch of an operational NHIF’s information system is critical for the development of the healthcare insurance system in Bulgaria. Transparency and better control over the efficient use of financial resources in the healthcare sector will be guaranteed and will contribute to improving the quality of the health services offered to the citizens of Bulgaria.
The NHIF information system is part of the larger Healthcare Sector Reform Project, funded by a loan from the World Bank to the Bulgarian government. The contract is worth €3.5 million and the system is due to be implemented in 21 months, by a consortium led by Bull Bulgaria and including SIVECO Romania, a leading Romanian IT services company, and Maccabi Healthcare Services, who will act as a business consultant to the consortium.
The tender for the new, integrated NHIF information system was managed according to international protocols specified by the World Bank. Six companies replied to the call for tender: Bull, HP, IBM, Intracom, Oracle and Siemens Business Services. A two-stage evaluation and selection process was completed by the World Bank and Bulgarian legal experts.
The project will involve implementation and integration of two inter-connected information systems: a system for planning and spending financial resources, and a claims management system.
The first system is a standard back-office system dealing with all the NHIF’s central and regional administrative operations. It will be used to manage, account for and control budgets, and supervise debts and payments. This will help to enhance overall control and ensure more efficient management of NHIF funds.
The claims management system will generate and control the main databases within the system. These databases include healthcare providers (doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), people with health insurance and drugs. This IS will monitor healthcare providers’ activities, to guarantee that people get high-quality service and that providers are paid. In addition, it will also be used to manage the level of healthcare insurance payment installments, as well as to carry out statistical analyses and prepare forecasts.
The two core systems will be supported by various applications, including internal financial control and medical audit.