Mangaluru, Jan 17, 2017: It is relialy reported that health insurance schemes in Karnataka have come to a standstill with leading private hospitals refusing to entertain patients who come for specialized treatment with government insurance cover.
Much-hyped health insurance schemes like Vajpayee Arogya Shree (VAS), Rajiv Arogya Bhagya (RAB) and Jyothi Sanjeevini schemes are aimed at providing cashless healthcare facilities to the poor.
"Even as of today, private hospitals are facing losses with the government health insurance scheme as the package offered under it is inadequate. Moreover, the government doesn’t clear dues on time. Now it is again pressuring private hospitals to agree to these insurance schemes, which will run up losses for them and lead to deterioration of their health infrastructure,’’ alleged a hospital owner.
Super-specialty hospitals in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts have decided to stop entertaining patients who come for treatment with government health insurance schemes from this week.
Nursing Homes and Hospital Managements Association president Yusuf A Kumble said the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust that administers schemes on behalf of the government, owes over Rs 200 crore to many super-specialty hospitals across the state. "Reimbursements were made irregularly, and no payment has been made in the past nine months," he alleged.
Health minister K R Ramesh Kumar admitted there was a delay in clearing bills due to private hospitals; the claimed dues were not more than Rs 135 crore. "Last week, we cleared Rs 35 crore. We will pay another Rs 100 crore in the next 10-15 days."
According to Kumble, the association members decided to stop offering specialized treatment under these schemes following the government’s inability to clear dues amounting to Rs 60 crore to about 11 super specialty hospitals in DK, Udupi and Manipal, and also as treatment rates were draining them.
"The treatment rates were fixed seven years ago. We accepted the government’s proposal as we presumed we would get a few patients and it would be a public service. These days, almost every patient coming for super-specialty treatment brings a BPL card. The rates fixed by the government seven years ago now account for less than 20% to 25% of the actual cost of treatment,’’ said Kumble. The matter is serious and needs immediate attention.