These are tough times for many in the government. We have a situation that even the best minds would not be able to do a fine job of: at least not on every tactic, not every move. For the most part the Government of India has been admirably proactive, even though several people may object to one or more of the measures enforced by it.
In part already in place, but fast coming is a dire need of hospital infrastructure. Our blogpost is meant to provide clarity to help the government and insurers create a response to maximize hospital productivity to respond to the crisis.
First, it is increasingly clear that COVID19 care cannot be fought without private hospitals and private sector-run healthcare services. The government seems to have recognized this. Allowing private labs to conduct tests is one step. Having private hospitals set aside COVID19 facilities is another.
Second, the interest of the citizens will NOT be served unless the government adopts fair methods of engaging private healthcare providers. This is where the government’s efforts may have fallen short.
- The government has asked private hospitals to provide healthcare free of cost
- However, the government has not addressed the important question of who will bear the cost of the free healthcare services being provided. Expecting the healthcare providers to bear the costs will almost certainly result in widespread chaos and denial of services.
To simultaneously engage private healthcare providers AND keep costs under check adopt the New York model for providing healthcare. This entails –
- Reimbursing hospitals for reasonable expenses based on actual expenses incurred
- Decreasing the hospital expenses by centralizing COVID19 purchasing and supply chain
Creating win-win financial instruments to decrease structural costs of private hospitals
See: Cost of Providing Covid19 Care: What is reasonable? for our estimate on reasonable expenses.