In Coimbatore region, 46 hospitals have been empanelled so far

More hospitals are getting into the Preferred Provider Network (PPN) as the advantages of the programme are felt, according to Asha Nair, Director and General Manager of United India Insurance.

Ms. Nair told The Hindu that the network was launched in 2010 in four cities – Mumbai, National Capital Region, Chennai and Bangalore. It was extended to Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh in 2011. This year, Indore and Coimbatore have come under the network and Pune and Jaipur will also be covered.

In Coimbatore region, which covers Mettupalayam, Tirupur, Erode, Idappadi, Salem and Namakkal, 46 hospitals have been empanelled so far for the network. The hospitals have agreed to discount in pricing for the customers of the insurance company for 104 specified surgical procedures. This will result in lesser outgo towards insurance claims. According to a press release from United India Insurance, health insurance sector in the country has grown from Rs. 1,354 crore in 2003-2004 to Rs. 15,000 crore in 2012-2013. It accounts for 23 per cent of the non-life business. There is scope for expanding it further as there are many who are not covered under insurance.

Ms. Nair added that in the cities where PPN was launched nearly 50 per cent to 60 per cent of the claims are under the network. Now, over 1,000 hospitals are covered under PPN in 10 cities. It started with 42 procedures and is now available for 104 surgical procedures. The package offered by the hospital for the surgery will include all costs and will be at a discounted price.

Opposing the scheme in its present form, A.K. Ravikumar, president of Indian Medical Association (IMA), Coimbatore, said in a statement that the IMA wanted the GIPSA PPN authorities to involve it in grading of hospitals and standardisation of rates when they proposed to implement the PPN in Coimbatore last year.

When contacted for his reaction, R. Hariharan, Deputy General Manager of United India Insurance, said that efforts were already made and will be continued to involve the IMA in the PPN programme here.