The Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) representatives on Friday announced via a press conference that they are determined to stop cashless facilities in all their hospitals and nursing homes after January 15 of the coming year if their grievances with public sector insurance companies are not resolved until the date given.
The president of AHNA, Dr Bharat Gadhvi named four insurance companies in the public sector specifically from whom the association members want their grievances to be resolved. These four companies include New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance, United India Insurance and National Insurance. The key issue that the members are facing is the charges of the hospitalisation and various other procedures by these insurance companies, which are not revised in the last five years with other private insurance companies revising it annually, on the other side.
“Medical care has evolved in these years as has life quality. MRI and CT Scan have become regular procedures and costs have gone up. The insurance companies refuse to pay out for disposables used, including disinfection charges or charges for gloves. Routinely discharge takes 30 minutes but patients with insurance from these companies take up to six hours or more or sometimes even delayed by a day. But these public sector insurance companies have not established or updated their infrastructure and as long as they do not do that, such problems will persist. We suggest patients should not avail services of these four companies if they desire proper healthcare services,” he further said.
Addressing other issues faced by the members, the chairperson AHNA insurance committee proprietor of Icon Hospital in Ahmedabad, Dr Manish Bhatnagar said, “We do not want to cause inconvenience to our patients but doing business with these insurance companies is bad business. We end up pursuing consumer litigations and it is bothersome for us to deal with this kind of inefficiency. There is no transparent process of deciding charges for hospitals. The last revision in rates was done in 2014 but hospitals received the approval by 2016. Usually public insurance companies revise rates once every five years. We are demanding uniformity in rates and agreements instead of some hospitals being given an ad-hoc arbitrary advantage by the insurance companies where they provide particular hospitals better rates.”
The decision will affect around 100 to 130 hospitals and nursing homes members of AHNA. A cashless payment will make a patient pay his bills to the hospital or the nursing home for their medical services and thereafter claim it from their respective insurance company.