Pending ESI dues: Pvt hospitals to stop cashless treatment

Free health services will not be provided from September 1

Private hospitals empanelled under the ESI scheme will stop their cashless treatment services starting from September 1. The decision comes after the union government failed to clear outstanding dues of over Rs 100 crore.

Addressing a press conference in the City on Saturday, the Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI), however, said that they would suggest that patients avail treatments at concessional rates and have it reimbursed by the government later. 

Hospitals claimed that the irregular pay had made it difficult for member hospitals to function. Dr Alex Thomas, president of AHPI, said, “Repeated meetings with ESI authorities, union minister for labour, principal secretary of labour to the State government and the ESI director have not resolved the issue. Hence it has been decided to stop cashless treatment.’’

The member hospitals of AHPI have sought uniform guidelines to ensure speedy settlement of claims, which is currently absent. Besides, they have sought a revision of prices.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Alexander Thomas, executive director, AHPI, said that the claims had not been settled for the last two years. There are over 40 network hospitals including major players such as Narayana Health, Ramaiah hospitals and HCG in AHPI.

“The issue has been there for a long time now. We do not know what will happen in future. For now, we have been asked to wait for five more months,” he said.

Noting that there was no standardisation, Dr Thomas said that there had been instances of money being deducted at the time of reimbursement without any explanation.

“The beneficiaries can avail the hospital services at concessional rates by paying cash and get it reimbursed by ESI later,” said Dr Mudit Saxena, chief operating officer, HCG. They too faced issues being part of the network, he said. A number of tertiary medical care facilities including transplantation, dialysis and cardiac ailments come under cashless treatment.

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