Healthcare Providers Unhappy with Revised Rates for Radiological and Imaging Investigations
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised the rates for 36 radiological and imaging investigations under the Central Government Health Scheme, which has left healthcare providers unhappy. According to healthcare professionals, the rates barely negate inflation and are not scientifically fixed. The scheme provides comprehensive medical care to central government employees.
Revised Rates for Various Scans and Tests
The revised rates for various scans and tests under the scheme are as follows:
– Cardiac MRI at accredited and non-accredited NABH and NABL organizations will now cost Rs 8,000 and Rs 6,800, respectively.
– D-stress echo would cost Rs 2,550 to Rs 3,000 depending on whether the facility is NABH/NABL accredited.
– Rates for MRI cardiac, brain and whole spine, echo, fetal echo, stress echo, testicular scan, USG colour doppler pregnancy, breasts and whole abdomen, mammography B/L, etc have all been revised.
Healthcare Providers’ Concerns
Dr Govindaiah Yatheesh, President of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), Karnataka, said that rates should be scientifically fixed so that private hospitals have a 20% margin at least. He added that setting up a diagnostic facility requires spending in dollars and earning in rupees, and there are equipment maintenance costs, including AMCs, which could total almost a crore, besides rentals. Specialized manpower is also required to operate this equipment. So, the actual cost of a scan is nothing less than Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000. He questioned who will take care of their expenses.
Dr Pavankumar Patil, Public Relations Officer, IMA (Karnataka), concurred, saying advancements in medical technology are a huge financial burden. He added that if rates are not scientifically revised, private hospitals, especially small and medium establishments, will shut down or go bankrupt. Doctors may also end up indulging in unethical practices to survive.
Dr Alexander Thomas, Chairman, Technical Committee on Grading NABH Accredited Healthcare Organizations, said a fair revision will be a win-win. He added that if rates are reasonably revised, more hospitals will open doors to beneficiaries.
The revised rates for radiological and imaging investigations under the Central Government Health Scheme have left healthcare providers unhappy. They believe that the rates are not scientifically fixed and barely negate inflation. The actual cost of a scan is much higher than the revised rates, and healthcare providers are concerned that they will not be able to cover their expenses. A fair revision of rates will be a win-win for all parties involved.