Inspire Telangana

Telangana’s Plan to Grade Hospitals to Keep Prices in Check?

After a string of complaints on overcharging by private hospitals, health authorities have charted out a plan to bring in a grading system for hospitals. As per ongoing discussions, soon to be put on paper, hospitals will be put under different slabs and will have an upper limit for pricing of surgeries and other procedures. This ‘price cap’, say insiders, is likely to bring down prices of treatments and surgical procedures.

The plan, which will toe the line of the central government health services, is expected to be put in place over the next two months. If successfully implemented, Telangana would be the first state to bring in such a grading system.

While patients have been repeatedly complaining about being overcharged for various procedures, hospitals, especially mutlispecialty hospitals, want the liberty to charge as per their investment. “Their argument is that hospitals need to be competitive and hence fix the price at par with other hospitals to stay in the race. Currently, the scenario is such that small hospitals are benefiting from this competitive pricing, but bigger ones lament that they are facing losses and hence want the liberty to decide on pricing. We are trying to work out a grading system based on all the factors like quality of equipment, procedures as well as investment,” said a senior official from the health department.

To work out complications like recurring costs for a procedure (when treatment has to be extended) or when another procedure has to be carried out simultaneously, a team of chartered accountants are being involved. Once the grading system is put in place, the hospital pricing system will become more transparent and patients can make an informed decision before choosing a hospital.
“After discussions with private hospitals, the rules and the prices will be fixed. This way, people will know about the charges before going to a hospital,” explained a highly placed source who told to Times of India.

It is with the intention of countering this trend that Telangana’s health authorities are planning to introduce a grading system for hospitals that will be put in place over the next two months.

The idea for this noteworthy initiative came as a response to repeated complaints by patients about being overcharged at private hospitals. If implemented successfully, it will make Telangana the first state in India to bring in such a grading system!

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Ashok Kumar

Dr. Ashok Kumar is Chemistry Professor, Blogger, Film maker, Writer and Traveler.

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