Stop loot by hospitals and insurance:Cap Hospital Room Rates in Metro/ClassA/B/C cities

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1. Private hospitals get concessional land, FSI and tax benefits from Government, however charge all patients room rates much higher than even 5 star hotels that provide luxurious amenities, free valet parking on premises, better hygiene, comfort and services. This malpractice of hospitals must be stopped, and Government must declare room rate ceilings for Hospital Rooms in Metro/A/B/C category cities for AC and Non-AC rooms. In addition, Government must announce certain specifications or standards for room, amenities, fire protection/exits etc. (details in last para)

2. Medical insurance companies have a clause in policy: “If room opted for exceeds the entitled limit as above, then all incremental expenses pertaining to Operation Theatre Charges, Surgeon’s fees, Doctor’s Consultation, Anaesthetist charges & Diagnostic charges will be deducted in ratable proportion of excess room rent (except medicines).”. In most cases, the Hospitals force patients into room with much higher charges stating that all other rooms with lower rates are full. Therefore, patients have to bear a significant portion of the hospital bills even if premium for insurance is already paid for.

3. For exactly the same diagnostic tests, exactly the same surgery by the same surgeon, anaesthetist and assistants, in exactly the same operation theatre and same doctors visiting the patient later, the patient is forced to shell out different amount since the hospital forced patient for resting in a more expensive room post diagnosis and surgery! I can understand the difference in charges for the room itself, but why the other charges that have no bearing on the post-surgery room floor, size, colour, curtains etc. are being pro-rated? This malpractice also must be stopped. If the patient opts for higher room, the insurance company should pay upto the room rent ceiling however surgery and other charges should not be pro-rated. 

I am making the above appeals based on my own experiences with private Hospitals, and request your kind support for the cause.

My mother was admitted in Wockhardt hospitals Nagpur on Jan 28th for a femur fracture caused by slipping on wet floor. The hospital asked if the patient is insured, we were made to deposit Rs.1.6 lakhs  in spite of having cashless hospitalization facility for 4 lakhs. For a minor surgery, hospital generated a bill of over Rs. 3.3 lakhs (Hospital claimed they have only one room available, and had to accept it), Insurance company approved Rs. 2.74 lakhs out of this, stating a clause in policy that says the approved amount will be pro-rated to the cap provided on room rent. Just because the room rent was higher, there was a deduction of Rs. 56000.

I wonder, how can the hospital charge so high for a ordinary room, higher than Five Star hotels who typically offer luxurious well maintained rooms and amenities, offer free valet parking, swimming pools, gym, concierge desk and overall great services. 

I am still struggling to get the refund of the deposits from Wockhardt hospital, who appears to be trying to get money from Insurance as well as from patient (remember deposit of Rs. 1.6 lakhs) for the same treatment.

I plead the Government authorities to announce a cap on room charges in all private hospitals, AC private room rent for single occupancy to Rs. 3500 (4 metros) / Rs. 3000 (next top 10 cities) and Rs. 2200 (district level hospitals in top states) and Rs. 1200 (all others), and should be inclusive of all nursing charges / bedside assistance and patient food charges. For twin shared rooms, the rent should be capped at 60% of above, and tripe shared, 40% of above. When opting for Non-AC configuration, charges should be capped at 60% of above. 

Furthermore, I also plead the Government authorities, medical council, or appropriate licensing authorities to declare certain standards for the rooms that must  be maintained by hospitals e.g. minimum bed specifications for patient and attendant, cleaning / sterilization frequency, temperature and humidity control, oxygen facility, space for infant cot, toilet specifications/water availability, storage, mosquito nets, flooring type, electrical availability, curtains, bedsheets, fire extinguishers, exits, attendant support, call bell etc) 

Thanking you for your support.