NEW DELHI :
With the increase in the number of Covid-19 patients in the country, many hospitals in the private sector have undergone infrastructural changes to set up separate isolation wards and other necessary changes have been initiated to put in place a guideline compliant structure to treat covid-19 patients and to ensure best clinical outcomes. However there has been a lack of clarity about cost of treatment.
Developing an accounting methodology to help bring in a standardisation of cost of covid-19 treatment in private sector, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) covid-19 Response Taskforce, categorised the covid-19 treatment according to government referred patients, patients paying from out of pocket and for patients who are covered by TPAs. The federation further sub-categorised them to three levels depending on the severity of the case.
According to the FICCI recommendation, a patient who is paying from out of pocket should pay ₹17,000 per day for treatment in an isolation ward and ₹45,000 per day for ICU (with ventilator). These rates include medicines, consumables and basic diagnostics, but exclude PPE costs, high end drugs and any co-morbidities. Also, they are indicative rates and there may be individual variations to the extent of 5-10%, FICCI said in a statement.
FICCI said it is working with the government to resolve the treatment expenditure issues in private sector and has submitted the costing framework to the Union and State Health Ministries. “Covid-19 treatment cost is difficult to rationalise essentially due to the unknown nature of treatment required and various comorbidities associated with it," Dr Alok Roy, Chair- FICCI Health Services Committee said.
“Additionally, segregating the covid and non-covid patients is essential which needs huge investments in infrastructure. We have recommended these costs which may not be viable for the private sector, as we are in a national crisis and believe that it is our ethical responsibility to serve our patients with the best treatment possible at reasonable costs," he said.
FICCI in April also had submitted the first cut of the costing strategy which was based on hypothesis. This revised version is worked out based on analysis of actual data of 150 cases of covid treatment in major private hospitals, it said.
Similarly, Association of Healthcare Providers (India), representing majority of private hospitals in the country, also came out with a suggestive cost for treatment of covid-19 patients in private hospitals, which are not covered under agreement with Governmental run scheme; central or state. “As more and more patients are opting for treatment at private hospitals, standardization of cost becomes necessary," said Dr Girdhar Gyani, director general AHPI. The AHPI has submitted its recommendation to the government suggesting per day charges of ₹15000 for General Ward, ₹20000 for Ward with oxygen, ₹25000 for Isolation ICU, and ₹35000 for Isolation ICU with Ventilator.
“There are reports that there was no transparency in treatment cost at private hospitals and therefore need for voluntarily fixing the price for treatment of covid-19 patients was felt," Dr Alexander Thomas, President, AHPI said.
The AHPI costing suggested is based on the assessment carried out in hospitals, which are treating covid-19 patients and have the experience of actual costing relating to use of PPEs, Infection Control measures, Human Resource aspect of Healthcare workers, who are deployed in shifts and need to be quarantined etc.