The COVID-19 response taskforce of FICCI and leading private hospitals associated with the industry body have developed an accounting methodology to bring in standardisation of cost of coronavirus treatment in the national interest. Given the rising cases of COVID-19 infection, the need for more hospitalisation and owing to the overloading of public health system, increasing number of private healthcare providers have been admitting and treating COVID-19 positive cases, a statement said.
The COVID-19 treatment cost has been categorised with respect to government-referred patients, patients paying from out of pocket and those who are covered by third party administrators (TPAs). It has further been sub-categorised to three levels depending on the severity of the case such as patients who do not require intensive care but must be kept in isolation ward, patients requiring ICU without ventilator and those requiring ICU with ventilator.
Beds reserved for government-referred patients in isolation wards will be charged Rs 13,600, in ICU without ventilator Rs 27,088 and in ICU with ventilator will be charged Rs 36,853 per patient, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said. For COVID-19 cases treated by private hospitals, rates in isolation wards will be Rs 17,000, in ICU without ventilator Rs 34,000 and in ICU with ventilator will be charged Rs 45,000 per patient, it said.
The industry body said for patients covered by TPAs, rates in isolation wards will be Rs 20,000, in ICU without ventilator Rs 55,000 and in ICU with ventilators will be charged Rs 68,000 per patient, it said. These are FICCI recommended rates for per patient - average revenue per occupied bed in the private hospitals associated with it.
According to FICCI, hospitals' standard rates will be applicable for expensive/high-end medicines, and the estimated personal protective equipment (PPE) count is applicable only when the patients are cohorted in an area. It said that these are only an illustration on the basis of basic tests that may be needed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients during their stay in wards and coronary care unit, with or without ventilator support.
The actual average length of stay and tests may vary on the basis of condition of the patients. It said that these rates are indicative and there may be individual variations to the extent of 5-10 per cent. The clinical teams of large hospitals consisting of intensivists, pulmonologists, critical care specialists as well as infectious disease specialists have given their inputs in developing the above models, it said.
These models include the costs of materials such as consumables, medicines and basic diagnostics; but exclude the cost of PPEs, high end drugs and any comorbidities, it said. FICCI said all the hospitals are struggling with declining revenues on account of decreased outpatients and falling in-patient occupancy levels which have resulted in significant cash flow challenges, including managing payroll, material and finance costs.
"We, therefore, request the government to create individual escrow accounts for each hospital and pay the treatment amounts in advance to ease the liquidity challenges during this difficult period," the body added.