The government of Telangana on Wednesday issued orders fixing treatment and investigation charges for Covid-19 in private hospitals.
The state government, which had capped the treatment charges last year, issued a revised Government Order (GO) in the direction of the Telangana High Court.
The fresh GO has fixed charges for routine ward and isolation Rs 4,000 per day; for ICU without ventilator Rs 7,500 and charges for ICU with ventilator Rs 9,000. These include all blood tests, X-Ray, ECG, consultations, bed charges, and meals but exclude interventional procedures and high-end drugs.
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It also mentioned that PPE kits should not be charged at a price exceeding Rs 273 per kit.
These rates, however, are not applicable to the patients subscribing insurance scheme, as well as patients being treated under various agreements/MoUs, entered into the hospitals and different sponsored groups or corporate entities.
The GO also fixed the rates for investigations pertaining to Covid-19. Charges for HRCT fixed at Rs 1,995, for IL-6 at Rs 1,300, Digital X-Ray 300, D-Dimer Rs 800, CRP Rs 500, Procalcitonin Rs 1,400, Ferritin Rs 400 and LDH Rs 140.
The ambulance charges per kilometer for ambulances with a basic life-supporting system have been fixed at Rs 75 and for those with the advanced life-supporting system at Rs 125. Minimum charges will be Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 respectively.
It asked the hospitals to refrain from the experimental treatment, unnecessary investigations, and repeated HRCTs. It makes it clear that no compliance with the orders will attract action as per the provision of the law.
S.A.M. Rizvi, secretary, health, medical and family welfare, issued the GO a day before the expiry of the two-week deadline fixed by the high court.
The court had repeatedly pulled up the state health authorities for the delay in issuing the revised GO and during the last hearing, it even remarked if the government will come out with fresh order after Covid-19 vanishes.
The court had issued the directions while hearing public interest litigations with regard to private hospitals collecting excess charges from the Covid patients.
The government capped the charges on the recommendations of a committee constituted for fixing the charges for inpatient treatment, diagnostic tests, and investigations for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the director of public health and family welfare informed the high court on Wednesday that 350 complaints have been received against 170 private hospitals. He said in respect of 30 complaints, the victims were refunded to the tune of Rs 72.20 lakh while efforts are on to do justice to other complainants.