Chennai, Aug 14 : Hospitals are playing Robin Hood by charging differential rates for diagnostic tests done on patients in air-conditioned rooms as compared to those who are admitted in general wards, said officials.
Hospitals charge differential rates for diagnostic tests and for doctor visits based on the kind of room a patient chooses to stay.
The issue was raised at the virtual seminar 'India Health Insurance - a Fast Forward' organised by The Confederation Of Indian Industry-Southern Region (CII-SR).
At the seminar, Dr. C.S.Pramesh, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital said: "We play Robin Hood. We charge extra from a patient in the air-conditioned room in order to subsidise the patients in the general ward." Responding to that Dr. S.Prakash, Chairman, CII-SR Health Insurance Conclave, said that the differential rates are justifiable for mission/charitable hospitals.
"But in the case of corporate hospitals, there is no cross subsidy for differential rates," Prakash who is also the Managing Director of Star Health & Allied Insurance Company Ltd said.
When Alexander Thomas, President, Association of Healthcare Providers of India said that corporate hospitals do take government patients at lower rates, Prakash quipped, charity at the cost of insurance companies.