Inflated Hospital Bills

Flooded with complaints of excess billing, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) analysed the bills generated by four private hospitals in and around Delhi for treatment costs in some specific cases
twitter-logo Joe C Mathew   New Delhi     Print Edition: March 25, 2018
Inflated Hospital Bills

Flooded with complaints of excess billing, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) analysed the bills generated by four private hospitals in and around Delhi for treatment costs in some specific cases. It found that the hospitals were the major beneficiaries of inflated retail prices of medicines, consumables, devices and diagnostic services.

Thus began the renewed call for price caps and regulatory oversight over healthcare bills. Although the NPPA study's sample size was probably too small to generalise its findings, it was sufficient to rekindle the debate on affordable and accessible healthcare. Of course, the government will have to recognise that an overarching price cap alone cannot solve the problem. Price control or not, hospitals will charge at will unless there is enough competition to bring down their charges.

- Joe C. Mathew

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