Hyderabad

COVID-19 | Capped charges not applicable for those who avail insurance, says Telangana

As per the latest announcement, higher rates might be charged from COVID-19 patients who hold insurance policies. (Representative image)   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

An announcement by the Telangana Health department on capped prices for COVID-19 treatment has shocked people. State’s Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said that the prices capped by the State government for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals were not applicable to patients who subscribe to insurance schemes.

Besides, they were not applicable to patients being treated under various agreements or memoranda of understanding (MoU) entered by hospitals and different sponsored groups or corporate entities.

This was announced 41 days after a Government Order (GO) was issued capping the prices between ₹4,000 and ₹9,000 per day for COVID treatment, depending on the ward and if ventilator support was provided, with some exclusions.

The announcement on Sunday makes it clear that the capped prices are not applicable to insurance schemes. So higher rates might be charged for those holding insurance policies. However, it remains unclear whether corporate hospitals will accept insurance schemes at all for COVID-19 treatment, even if the rates for the treatment are high. A few people complained that they were asked to pay in cash.

After reports on exorbitant bills for COVID treatment were published in the newspapers, the State government on June 15 issued orders announcing the maximum rates chargeable by private hospitals for various services provided by them for COVID-19 treatment. The charges range between ₹4,000 and ₹9,000 per day depending on the ward and if ventilator support is provided.

Some services were excluded from the maximum rates such as charges for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), high-end medicines such as immunoglobulin, high end investigations such as CT-Scan, MRI, and for COVID-19 testing.

People hoped to undergo treatment at private hospitals at affordable rates. However, they complained that private health facilities did not accept insurance policies for COVID treatment. Left with no option, some of them paid ₹50,000 to ₹70,000 per day.

On Sunday, the Director of Public Health, Dr Rao, released a press note and the Government Order (GO), dated July 6, which states that the capped prices were not applicable to patients who subscribed to insurance schemes and to patients being treated under various agreements or MoU entered by hospitals and sponsored groups or corporate entities.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 2:27:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/capped-charges-not-applicable-to-insured-patients/article32199050.ece

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