How ABHA Card Enhances Your Hospital Experience: Key Features and Benefits

While managing health records and medical history is important, many people struggle to maintain them. Thanks to Ayushman Bharat Health Account or ABHA card, which intends to create a digital health ecosystem, enhancing the hospital experience by facilitating cashless transactions. An integral component of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), ABHA aims at not just improving access to quality healthcare, but also alleviating the financial burden on vulnerable sections of society.

Notably, it helps manage financial aspects related to healthcare services under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Read ahead to know more about Ayushman Bharat Health Account.

Understanding ABHA Card

Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA), maintained under the Indian government’s Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, assigns a unique 14-digit health ID to link all the medical records of a user. Acting as a safe digital repository of health records, ABHA lets a user access his/her medical history from anywhere in the country. It ensures transparency, accountability, and accessibility of funds allocated for healthcare services. 

It is to be noted that the ABHA card stores information, such as name, demographic location, OPD records, immunisation details, diagnostic test or lab reports, over-the-counter medication purchases, and in-patient summaries and prescriptions. 

Why Get an ABHA Card?

There are many reasons why one should get an ABHA card:

  • It offers 24/7 access to health records.

  • Saving you from the time-consuming task of maintaining paperwork and medical records physically, sharing the ABHA number with doctors and insurers has made the process hassle-free. 

  • Also, the ABHA mobile app ensures secure and consent-driven sharing of health data. 

  • Another advantage of using the ABHA card includes convenience to doctors as all the medical records of an individual are stored in one place. This allows healthcare professionals to devise better treatment plans by collaborating with other medical practitioners easily. 

  • Additionally, the ABHA card has eliminated the need to repeat the same tests upon changing the healthcare provider, helping save time and money. 

How to Get an ABHA Card?

The following steps share how one can get an ABHA card:

  • Indian citizens can register for ABHA cards by downloading the ABHA app from Google Play Store or Apple Store. 

  • Then, a profile needs to be created for which basic personal information like name, gender and age, is asked. 

  • Post this, upload the Aadhaar/PAN card or passport in order to validate the shared information. 

  • Additionally, set the security PIN. Lastly, wait for your account to get operational. 

Besides, it is important to link the ABHA card to the medical insurance plan a person has. This will offer insurers access to the policyholder’s medical records that include lab tests and expenses. Additionally, this will make it easier to get the claims settled for PMJAY policyholders as this eliminates the requirement of submitting physical documents.

Features of ABHA

The following are the features of ABHA that enhance the hospital experience of users:

  • AB-PMJAY policyholders get cashless transactions by seeking treatment at empanelled hospitals and nursing homes across the country. This brings in a lot of relief for beneficiaries by reducing the financial burden during medical emergencies.

  • Allowing beneficiaries to avail services seamlessly, it is portable with several healthcare providers under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

  • Using real-time monitoring, ABHA tracks the utilisation of funds and ensures the efficient allocation of resources. 

  • ABHA includes electronic health records that facilitate the storage and retrieval of patient information, streamlining healthcare delivery.

  • Digital transactions and electronic records enhance transparency and accountability in the healthcare system, reducing the scope for corruption and ensuring that funds are used for their intended purpose.

  • Managing the allocation and disbursement of funds, ABHA ensures that funds are transferred promptly and securely to healthcare providers.

  • ABHA verifies the authenticity of claims and disburses payments accordingly.

ABHA Card Benefits

Here are the benefits of ABHA card that beneficiaries get:

  • Offers financial protection to the vulnerable sections of society by covering the costs of healthcare services and reducing out-of-pocket expenses 

  • Enhances access to quality healthcare

  • Cashless transactions for AB-PMJAY policyholders and electronic health records promote efficiency in healthcare delivery, reducing administrative hassles and letting healthcare providers focus on patient care

  • Valuable data insights can be taken into account while policy formulation, addressing healthcare challenges effectively 

Things to Know

Let’s learn about the important things that ABHA card users should know: 

  • The ABHA card is not the same as the Ayushman Bharat card. Notably, the latter provides healthcare services to Ayushman Bharat Yojana beneficiaries.

  • The ABHA number is only used to link all the health records of a person. It does not mean enrolment in AB-PMJAY. 

  • ABHA is not a replacement of current Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) services or CGHS HMIS. In fact, it is an addition to the current set of services provided by CGHS.

  • Linking health records to ABHA allows other doctors to see the medical history involved, which may contribute to devising an effective treatment plan or making appropriate clinical decisions.

  • Federated architecture is used to maintain health records on the platform. This means that the medical records will continue to be processed and stored at the same place where they are created. 

  • Medical records are created and stored by healthcare providers as per their policies. The government only facilitates secure data exchange between the intended stakeholders on its platform.

  • Only the data collected for registries such as the health ID registry, healthcare professional registry and healthcare facility registry is stored in a secure and safe manner centrally in order to provide interoperability.

  • Only an ABHA beneficiary can share his/her records with medical facilities and healthcare professionals.

  • ABHA cards can be used outside the government hospital if a privately-run medical centre decides to use them for the creation and linking of health records. 

Future of ABHA

Playing a vital role in transforming service delivery, ABHA holds immense potential in shaping the digital future of healthcare in India. Here’s what the Government of India feels about the future of ABHA.

  • It will incorporate new features and functionalities to accommodate the evolving needs of the healthcare sector.

  • There is a possibility that ABHA will get integrated with other healthcare schemes and initiatives in order to develop a unified and comprehensive healthcare ecosystem.

  • In order to improve the effectiveness of ABHA, attention needs to be paid to research and innovation in healthcare financing and delivery models.

Final Thoughts

From facilitating cashless transactions for AB-PMJAY policyholders to managing funds, Ayushman Bharat Health Account enhances transparency in the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Using technology and data-driven approaches, ABHA helps improve access to quality healthcare services and lower the financial burden on society’s vulnerable sections.



Nov 2023

356 posts

I’m Ankit Singh, a B Pharma graduate with over 5 years of experience as a medical content editor. I’ve completed internships and certified editing courses to hone my skills in simplifying complex medical information. My focus is on translating intricate medical content into clear, engaging material. Projects like revamping medical journals and creating educational materials have bolstered my confidence in this role. With certifications in hand, I’m committed to making medical knowledge accessible to all.View Profile

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