Wednesday, 17 August, 2022
HomeSouth AfricaState sets fees it will pay private hospitals for COVID-19 patients

State sets fees it will pay private hospitals for COVID-19 patients

The Health Department has finalised the fees it will pay private hospitals for severely ill COVID-19 patients, paving the way for the provinces to negotiate contracts with service providers to take the pressure off overburdened facilities. A Business Day report says the department has also prescribed rates for some services required in hospital, such as radiology. The tariffs have been calculated on a cost-recovery basis.

“This is a significant agreement as it allows us to utilise private sector facilities during this disaster said the department’s Anban Pillay. “This is an emergency procurement so we did not have much time to spend on negotiations. In general, the providers were keen to respond to our request, which reduced the need for lengthy negotiations,” he said.

The department has set the daily tariffs for state COVID-19 patients in critical care at no more than R16,156. This figure includes R11,749 for a private hospital bed, R2,498 for a specialist team, R588 for pathology, R632 for radiology, and R694 for allied health services. It has also set rates for general-acute beds and palliative care.

Radiological Society of SA president Richard Tuft said radiology practices had taken a huge financial blow during the lockdown, and while patient volumes had begun to recover, many practices were barely covering their costs.

Mediclinic’s chief strategy officer, Corné Heyns, said the group did not see admitting state patients as an opportunity for commercial gain.

“As has been discussed in the media, most parties are approaching it from a cost-recovery basis,” he said. Negotiations with the Western Cape Health Department were at an advanced stage, he said.

NHN CEO Neil Nair said the association’s hospitals had all agreed to treat state patients at a reduced cost.

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