Pune, 1st January 2024: As of January 1, numerous hospitals in Pune have ceased offering cashless treatment facilities to policyholders of public sector insurance companies. This move comes amid ongoing disagreements between city hospitals and insurance providers regarding the rates set for medical services.
Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital (DMH), a prominent healthcare institution in the city, took the decision to suspend cashless services for policyholders of ICICI Lombard Insurance Company and GIPSA companies until further notice. The hospital cited a delay in the renewal of rate contracts, which were under discussion since October 10, 2023, but remained unapproved by December 31.
Dr. Sanjay Patil, Chairman of the Hospital Board of India, Pune Chapter, highlighted the discontent among around 80 to 90 private hospitals regarding the ‘unscientific’ rate lists imposed by insurance companies, leading to reluctance in contract renewals.
The demand for justified rate revisions by hospitals stems from rising inflation and treatment costs. Despite efforts by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to propose a rate list, insurance companies have not accepted these terms, resulting in patient inconvenience and a shift towards private insurance policies.
The situation has escalated due to difficulties faced by hospitals in providing cashless facilities, especially smaller and medium-sized healthcare centers. There are concerns about the diminishing number of hospitals offering this service in Pune, despite the city witnessing an increase in large private hospitals in recent years.
Amidst this standoff, the hospital association president in Pune emphasized the necessity for hospitals to have adequate facilities and skilled doctors to initiate cashless treatment services. The concern has been raised regarding any challenges hospitals might face in providing such facilities.
In Pune, where there are a total of 780 hospitals with around 80 to 100 offering cashless facilities, this dispute has highlighted issues surrounding approximately 18,900 beds, including 2 to 3 thousand ICU beds and 750 to 800 ventilator beds.