Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stick to our rates: Insurers tell hospitals

NEW DELHI: Locked in a battle with healthcare firms over cashless health insurance claims, state-run insurers on Thursday asserted that the facility would be extended to only those hospitals that agree to their rates for medical expenses.

“The purpose of working out such package rates and stabilising the hospitalisation costs, will benefit the insured in many ways,” the four state-run general insurance companies — National Insurance Co, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India Insurance Co — said in a statement.

Presumably hurt on their balance sheets by the allegedly inflated bills for medical costs of people covered by cashless mediclaim facilities, these insurers have pruned the list of hospitals in four major cities for providing this facility.

The selected list of hospitals in Delhi and National Capital Region, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, does not include big chains like Fortis and Max Healthcare. The list was prepared on the basis of those accepting rate packages prepared by the insurance firms for medical procedures and hospitalisation costs.

The insurers’ move has been vehemently opposed by large hospitals.

A conciliatory meeting was arranged between the insurers and the hospitals in Mumbai on July 13, after which the insurance firms agreed to work upon expanding the list of approved hospitals for cashless facility. PTI

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