Andhra government revises price caps for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals

·2-min read
Andhra government revises price caps for COVID-19 treatment at private hospitals

The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday issued orders increasing the ceiling price for the treatment of COVID-19 in private hospitals following complaints by hospital managements that the prices fixed by the government were not viable.

As per the revised rates, hospitals with accreditation of the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) can charge Rs 4,000 per day for non-critical COVID-19 treatment and hospitals without NABH accreditation can charge Rs 3,600. 

Prices of non-critical treatment with oxygen at NABH hospitals have been fixed at Rs 6,500 per day, while non-NABH hospitals can charge Rs 5,850 per day. 

A price of Rs 12,000 per day has been fixed for critical treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with non-invasive Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure and high-flow nasal oxygen treatment in NABH hospitals, while the treatment for the same is fixed at Rs 10,800 in non-NABH hospitals. 

Similarly, a price of Rs 16,000 has been fixed for critical treatment in ICU with invasive ventilator support in NABH hospitals, while non-NABH hospitals can charge Rs 14,400 per day.

The government also made it clear that no other extra package rates shall be levied on the patients.

Warning private hospitals against violating the rules, the Government Order read: “If any hospital is found to be charging more than the rates as indicated above, they shall be levied a penalty which shall be 10 times of the additional charges by the concerned DMHO and if any hospital or clinical establishment is found to be repeating the same on three occasions, such hospital shall be prosecuted as per provisions of Indian Penal Code besides action as per Clinical Establishment Act.”

The GO also empowered the District Medical Health Officers to take action under the Clinical Establishment Act to ensure private hospitals provide quality healthcare and also against violating the orders. 

The decision to revise the ceiling was taken following allegations of “harassment” by vigilance officials in Kadapa district. Authorities had raided several hospitals like KCH, Komma, Tirumala and Sreekara in the district that were charging beyond the cap fixed by the government. In protest, alleging that the price fixed by the government was not viable, these hospitals denied admissions for COVID-19 patients.