The Maharashtra government has capped the prices of several medical procedures for those without medical insurance. For those with medical insurance, the capped rates will apply after they cross their insurance cover. This applies at private and charitable hospitals as well as nursing homes and dispensaries.
The government did not specify any duration for this move, but it is expected to remain in force until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
The new ruling came about after there were complaints of hospitals charging their usual rates even for COVID-19 patients.
A notification issued by Principal Secretary Pradeep Vyas said that hospitals should charge the lowest rates for procedures as per their agreements with the insurance companies. Hospitals that do not have tie-ups with any insurance network will have to follow the rates fixed under the notification.
More than 130 procedures have been brought under this ruling, including general surgeries, cardiac procedures, obstetrics and gynaecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic treatment and neurosurgery. For instance, the price of a total knee replacement has been capped at Rs.1.6 lakh, angiographies at Rs.12,000 each, single-stent angioplasty at Rs.1.2 lakh and dialysis at Rs.2,500.
The notification has been invoked under The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and The Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The government said it took the step “to redress the grievances regarding the exorbitant amount of money charged by health care providers from patients who are not covered by any health insurance product or who have exhausted their health insurance cover”.
The government said hospitals must display the detailed charges prominently on their premises and explain the details to patients.