Jubilee clashes with Nairobi Hospital
Private hospitals face a cash crunch as Covid-19 outbreak has reduced hospital visits as people try to avoid contracting the disease.
As Covid-19 situations weighs on private hospitals’ cash flow, a row has erupted between Jubilee Holdings Ltd (JUB) and The Nairobi Hospital, one of the nation’s top private hospitals.
The Nairobi Hospital has paused services for patients covered by Jubilee over unsettled claims. The hospital says Jubilee owes it Ksh357 million, arising from the treatment of its policyholders. The amount has accumulated over several years, according to the hospital.
But Jubilee disagrees with the hospital’s position. It says that the hospital’s failure to explain bills amounting to Ksh80 million is the sticking point. The Nairobi Hospital is one of Jubilee’s largest healthcare partners. It settles about Ksh1 billion in claims annually from the hospital.
Jubilee has advised its policyholders to avoid The Nairobi Hospital facility for now as it works on resolving the dispute.
Insurers reject Covid-19 treatment bills from private hospitals
The claims dispute between Jubilee and The Nairobi Hospital comes as Kenyan insurers have resolved they would not pay for the treatment of patients with Covid-19 in private hospitals because of high bills. The cost of treating Covid-19 in private hospitals can be as high as Ksh1.2 million for a single patient. That contrasts with about Ksh135,000 that it costs to treat the disease in public hospitals.
Jubilee is one of Kenya’s top insurers. It made a profit of Ksh4.0 billion in 2019. It plans to spend about Ksh580 million out of the profit to pay dividends to its shareholders.
Jubilee shares closed flat on Monday at Ksh250. The shares are down almost 30% since the beginning of the year. Moreover, Jubilee shares currently trade almost 40% below the Ksh400 price investors were paying for them around this time last year.