The Union health ministry has outstanding dues of over Rs 500 crores that it owes to the private hospitals under its Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) across India. The Association of Healthcare Providers (India) (AHPI), a body that represents majority of healthcare providers in India, has written a letter to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare regarding the dues to be paid to over 61 hospitals across the country.
The body has highlighted that there are inordinate delays in reimbursement to hospitals and low rates for reimbursement which have not been revised since 2014.
“Due to these factors, CGHS is losing its sheen among hospitals as well as among beneficiaries,” said Dr Girdhar Gyani, Director General AHPI adding that the organisation has requested the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to release the outstanding on priority as it has badly impacted the financial sustainability of hospitals.
Hospitals have signed agreement effective from October 1, 2014, which has provision to make 70 per cent payment within five working days of submission of bills by hospitals.
“In none of the cases payments have been made within such a stipulated time. Hospitals have to wait for months and years to get the dues. This results in pushing hospitals to state of un-sustainability. Hospitals are forced to avoid/refuse beneficiaries for treatment. The continuous and perennial delay in CGHS payments seriously impacts the hospital’s cash flow,” said Gyani.
CGHS covers healthcare facilities extended to around 40 lakhs current and retired central government employees and their families. CGHS is one of the key initiatives by the Government of India under which healthcare facilities are extended to central government employees and pensioners, members of Parliament, sitting and former judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, former governors and lieutenant governors, freedom fighters, and certain public sector units, among others. Beneficiaries receive cashless healthcare from empanelled private hospitals, diagnostic centres, and also through government-run wellness centres/ dispensaries, who are later reimbursed by the government.
“We are into the process of the clearing the dues and it will be made shortly,” a senior union health ministry official said on condition of anonymity. Business Today