NEED FOR GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
India Today TV tracked down patients who underwent treatment in the private sector to piece together a cost analysis. A doctor was made to run from pillar to post to get her relative admitted and after enduring treatment for 25 days, the family was asked to shell out Rs 16 lakh out of which Rs 4 lakh was for PPEs.
Now the family is under a financial distress because of the hefty hospital bill
WHAT THE HOSPITALS SAY
We reached out to some of the leading private hospitals in the country to understand what explains the billing. MAX Healthcare cited a FICCI representation on Covid-19 costing, saying the average cost of PPEs per day is Rs 10,000 for hospitals. FICCI report also added that PPE consumption varies from hospital to hospital. Max Hospital in its response added that when a patient undergoes treatment in a Covid ICU, consumables (PPE kits, gloves, face shield) used are upto 8 per day.
“Pricing and cost of care is transparently discussed with the patient and the patient is kept up to date each day about the costs that have been incurred with details. It must be understood that there are varying treatment protocols for Covid-19 where clinical syndromes that vary from uncomplicated mild illness to varying degrees of pneumonia, and from acute respiratory distress syndrome to sepsis and septic shock. The patient may require ICU care with or without invasive mechanical ventilator support. At each stage, the patient and his family are counselled about the condition and the costs for treatment,” Apollo has said.
While patients suffer and hospitals cite rules, insurance companies seek shelter under rules. Until now, insurance companies were not paying for consumables in a hospital bill, because it used to take up roughly 10% of the bill, which used to be paid by the patient. But things have changed after Covid-19 hit India, as a chunk of consumables in the bill increased to 50% and this cost is now borne by the patient, making it very difficult for many.
Experts said, government intervention is need of the hour without which patients will end up paying a bomb for Covid-19 treatment in the country. more