FICCI Develops Methodology To Bring Standardisation Of Cost Of COVID-19 Treatment

COVID19

Industry body FICCI has devised a rational costing framework which will allay any fears of the patients and the community about COVID-19 treatment.

FICCI COVID-19 Response Taskforce under the FICCI Health Services Committee, with representatives from leading private hospitals in India, has brainstormed and developed an accounting methodology to help bring in a standardisation of cost of COVID treatment in the national interest.

According to the recommendation by the industry chamber, a patient who is paying from out of pocket should pay Rs. 17,000 per day for treatment in an isolation ward and Rs. 45,000 per day for ICU with a ventilator. These rates include medicines, consumables, and basic diagnostics, but exclude PPE costs, high-end drugs, and any co-morbidities. Also, they are indicative rates and there may be individual variations to the extent of 5-10 per cent.

Sharing the above details, Dr Sangita Reddy, president, FICCI and joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “In these difficult times, the private healthcare sector is doing its best to serve with high standards of ethics, transparency, professional competency, and compassion”.

Dr Alok Roy, chair- FICCI Health Services Committee and chairman- Medica Group of Hospitals, said that these treatment costs are difficult to rationalise due to the unknown nature of treatment required and various comorbidities associated with it. Additionally, segregating the COVID and non-COVID patients is essential which needs huge infrastructure investments.

The revised version is worked out based on analysis of actual data of 150 cases of COVID-19 treatment in major private hospitals. FICCI is also working with other Healthcare Associations which have developed the costing framework that is aligned to the FICCI recommended costs. FICCI member hospitals have pledged to adopt these cost recommendations and display it transparently on their hospital website in their endeavour to fight this war against COVID-19.

At the same time, FICCI also urged that it is important that the government considers and adopts a scientific, plausible, and coherent reimbursement criterion for any treatment that is viable for the providers. It has been advocating for the adoption of a scientific costing framework to derive rational reimbursement rates. To present evidence, in 2018, FICCI conducted a sample costing study based on Time-Driven Activity Based Costing (TDABC), an internationally recognized bottoms-up costing approach for estimating costs of processes used in patient care, which was submitted to the government.

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