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Daily News Analysis


20th June, 2024 Polity


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Picture Courtesy: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/digital-health-incentive-scheme-extended-9393028/

Context: The Union government has extended the Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS) to promote the digitization of patients' health records.


  • The Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS) aimed at digitising patients' health records and linking them with the Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Account (ABHA ID), has been extended by the Central Government until June 30, 2025.

Reasons for Extension

  • The DHIS was originally launched on January 2023, by the National Health Authority (NHA) to incentivize healthcare providers, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, diagnostic labs, and pharmacies, to digitize health records. The extension aims to continue promoting digital health transactions among healthcare facilities and digital solution companies (DSCs).
  • According to updates from the NHA, the scheme has shown positive outcomes in terms of increased adoption of digital health solutions and transactions. The extension is intended to capitalise on these initial successes and further encourage health facilities to embrace digital health prerequisites.

Impact on Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities

  • Under the DHIS, healthcare facilities receive Rs 20 for each additional health record digitised beyond the threshold of 100 transactions per month. This financial incentive helps reimburse hospitals for the costs associated with digitising their facilities, including the purchase of hardware, software (HMIS/LMIS), and internet connections.
  • Digitization costs were previously cited as a major barrier for hospitals to adopt digital health practices. By extending the scheme, the government aims to alleviate these financial burdens and accelerate the transition of healthcare facilities towards digital operations.

Benefits for Patients

  • Digital health records linked to ABHA ID allow patients to access their medical records securely and conveniently. Patients benefit from reduced waiting times, quick OPD registrations through QR codes, and the ability to share medical history seamlessly across healthcare providers.
  • With digital records maintained centrally, patients are less likely to undergo redundant diagnostic tests, especially important for migrant workers and those travelling across different states.

About Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS)

  • The Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS) for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) aims to promote the adoption of digital health practices across healthcare facilities in India.
  • Managed by the National Health Authority (NHA), this scheme provides financial incentives to hospitals, diagnostic centres, and digital solution companies (DSCs) to encourage them to integrate with the ABDM ecosystem.
  • The scheme covers hospitals with 10 or more beds, diagnostic facilities, and DSCs providing ABDM-enabled digital solutions.
  • It focuses on incentivizing transactions linked to ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) for creating health records, including teleconsultations and lab reports.

Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA)

●ABHA is a digital health ID created under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. It is a 14-digit unique code generated using your Aadhaar card or your driver's license.

●Key benefits of the ABHA health ID card include convenient access to monitoring health records, seamless access to healthcare facilities, easy access to the Healthcare Professional Registry (HPR), AYUSH healthcare services accessible, digital health records security, and effortless registration of Personal Health Records (PHR).

●The Health Facility Registry (HFR) provides ABHA cardholders with a comprehensive directory of healthcare facilities nationwide, including both public and private options. Through the Healthcare Professional Registry (HPR), individuals with an ABHA card can review and assess healthcare providers.


  • Promote Digital Health Transactions: Facilitate the creation, linking, and interoperability of digital health records through ABDM.
  • Support Healthcare Facilities: Assist hospitals and labs in adopting digital solutions for enhanced healthcare delivery.
  • Incentivize Digital Solution Providers: Encourage DSCs to develop and deploy affordable digital health solutions.

Financial Incentives Structure

  • Hospitals need to perform a minimum of 50 transactions per bed per month to qualify for incentives. Rs. 20 per additional transaction above the base level for hospitals. For labs, Rs. 15 per additional transaction beyond the specified threshold.
  • Digital Solution Companies (DSCs) must support at least 10 healthcare facilities with ABDM-enabled solutions. Receive 25% of the corresponding incentive amount received by eligible healthcare facilities using their software. For other transactions (e.g., small clinics), Rs. 5 per transaction is provided if they exceed 200 transactions per month.

Eligibility Criteria

  • All public and private sector healthcare facilities in India are eligible.
  • Minimum transaction thresholds apply: 50 transactions per bed per month for hospitals and 500 transactions per month for labs.
  • Healthcare facilities must display ABDM IEC (Information, Education, and Communication) materials provided by NHA or state governments prominently.


  • The extension of the Digital Health Incentive Scheme highlights the government's commitment to advancing digital health infrastructure in India. By incentivizing healthcare facilities and digital solution providers, the scheme aims to enhance healthcare delivery, reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes through efficient digital practices. This proactive approach not only supports hospitals in overcoming financial barriers to digitization but also promotes a more integrated and patient-centric healthcare system nationwide.

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Q. Consider  the following statements:

1. It aims to provide comprehensive healthcare coverage specifically targeted at low-income families to ensure they have access to essential medical services.

2. It seeks to reduce the financial burden on families by minimising out-of-pocket medical expenses, thereby making healthcare more affordable.

3. It promotes both preventive and promotive healthcare services to improve overall public health and prevent diseases before they occur.

4. It offers benefits for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation, ensuring that beneficiaries have access to advanced medical treatments and hospital services when needed.

How many of the above statements accurately describe the objectives of Ayushman Bharat?

A) Only one

B) Only two

C) Only three

D) All four

Answer: D