context: Medical insurance expenditure for the first 11 months of 2018 increased by nearly 20 percent, while revenue grew by 5 percent. NHSA is taking measures to reform the medical insurance system to increase efficiency at both the macro- and micro-levels.

Han Zheng 韩正 vice premier and Politburo Standing Committee member spoke at the Medical Insurance Work Conference held on 10 Jan 2019.

He noted that

  • setting up National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) (Note: formerly referred to as National Medical Insurance Administration, NMIA) is a significant decision for
    • accelerating the unification of basic medical and critical, catastrophic illness insurance for both urban and rural residents
    • strengthening medical insurance fund supervision and contributing to a fair and sustainable system
  • medical insurance fund is ‘lifesaving money’ and regulators should
    • crackdown on medical insurance fraud
    • build a long-term supervision system
    • standardise health insurance coverage
    • promote centralised drug procurement to lower drug prices
    • adjust the Reimbursement Drug List (RDL)
    • include more effective drugs for urgent clinical needs
    • deepen medical insurance payment reform
    • build a unified, efficient, compatible and convenient national medical insurance information system with high standards
    • stress Party building

Huang Huabo 黄华波 NHSA Fund Supervision Bureau director says negotiations for price cuts of anti-cancer drugs, centralised procurements and reform of high-value medical devices represent a combination of policies to address medical insurance wastage.

Chen Qiulin 陈秋霖 Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Population and Labour Economics Lab of Social Security director argues that to encourage doctors to prescribe procured drugs, doctors’ salary system must be reformed. Xiong Xianjun 熊先军 NMIA Pharmaceutical Management Bureau director adds that the recent pilot to utilise diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) payment will prohibit doctors from earning extra income by prescribing unnecessary procedures.