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    HomeUncategorizedStates Push Back on Standardized Rates for Hospitals, Seek Wider Consultation

    States Push Back on Standardized Rates for Hospitals, Seek Wider Consultation

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    States and Union Territories (UTs) are urging the Supreme Court for more time and broader stakeholder discussions regarding the February directive to standardize medical procedure and service rates. This pushback comes in response to a government affidavit filed on Monday.

    Background: A Public Interest Case and the Court’s Response

    A public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO prompted the Supreme Court to direct the central government to develop a plan for standardized rates, achieved through Consultation with states. The court even threatened to impose Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) rates on private healthcare facilities until standardized rates are established.

    Concerns from States and Private Hospitals

    This directive has caused significant concern among private hospitals and investors. The fear is that standardized rates could significantly impact hospital revenue and viability. Healthcare providers have communicated these concerns to the health ministry and the court.

    States’ Arguments and Next Steps

    • More Consultation Needed: During central government consultations, states requested more discussions with all stakeholders, including private hospitals.
    • Standardization May Hurt Quality: Some states feared that fixed rates could compromise healthcare quality and lead to unsustainable hospital business models.
    • Alternative Approaches: States that have adopted the Clinical Establishments Act (CE Act) 2010 are open to further discussions with the health ministry to expedite the process. States without the CE Act pointed to existing provisions for determining medical service rate ranges or fixed rates within their state acts.
    • Supreme Court Hearing: The apex court has agreed to hear a plea from an association of doctors and hospitals challenging the government’s plan for standardized rates. The hearing is scheduled for September 10th, 2024.

    Moving Forward: Balancing Affordability and Quality

    Finding a solution that ensures affordable healthcare while maintaining quality services in private hospitals. The upcoming Supreme Court hearing and more comprehensive consultations involving all stakeholders will likely determine the future course of action.

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