Crucial times in the nation have led state governments to rely on private hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients. However, several reports of private hospitals charging exorbitant amounts from the patients have surfaced over the past few weeks. To tackle the issue, the AP government has now placed a cap on the price charged by private hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 affected patients. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the treatment would now be covered under AP’s Aarogyasri Health Scheme.
At present, the per day costs have been divided based on ‘critical’ and ‘non-critical’ care for COVID-19 patients. The cap for non-critical patients has been set at Rs 3250/- per day. For critical COVID-19 patients seeking treatment in ICU without a ventilator or an NIV, the price cap set by the AP government is at Rs 5,480 per day. Patients in ICU with NIV (Nasal O2, CPAP, BIPAP, HFNO) would need to pay Rs 5,980 per day.
Further, patients in ICU on a ventilator would need to pay Rs 9,580 per day. SEPSIS without a ventilator is capped at Rs 6,280 per day. SEPSIS with a ventilator is currently capped at Rs 10,380 per day. Septic Shock/ MODS with a ventilator is capped Rs 10,380 per day by the state government. For COVID-19 patients who wish to seek treatment in private rooms, an amount of Rs 600 per day will be charged, in addition to the base price.
As per the Government Order, non-critical COVID-19 positive must be identified based on symptoms like fever, sore throat and cough. The Chest X-ray for these patients must be normal. Patients with abnormal Chest X-ray results will be placed under critical care in the ICU without a ventilator. If the SPO2 (oxygen saturation) levels of these patients are less than 94, they will be shifted ICU under NIV category. An additional cost of Rs 2,400 is to be charged for COVID-19 test in a private lab.