Healthcare providers’ engagement in strategic purchasing of outpatient services: A cross-sectional analysis of the National Health Scheme in Kenya

Document Type



Population Health (East Africa)


Background: National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) outpatient services operate under capitation, and are strategically designed to enhance quality, equity, and affordability. However, despite this strategy, providers often demand out-of-pocket payments. This study investigates provider participation in strategic purchasing and its impact on NHIF’s outpatient service delivery.

Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among 66 healthcare managers from facilities accredited to provide NHIF outpatient services in two counties in Kenya. The data were collected using structured questionnaires. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association between study variables.

Results: Most respondents were male (36, 55%). The provision of NHIF outpatient services was significantly correlated with the monitoring provider performance by NHIF and the county department of health (Pmultivariate=0.024). There was a 31-fold increase in the likelihood of provision for monitored facilities. A significant difference (p=0.005**) was observed in monitoring health facilities. Monitoring was more common among private healthcare providers than public and faith-based health facilities.

Conclusion: The involvement of healthcare providers in strategic purchasing has not yet been achieved. County and NHIF quality assurance departments should regularly monitor providers’ performance to ensure the delivery of equitable and high-quality healthcare.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Pan-African Journal of Health and Environmental Science