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Saturday 23 February 2013

CGHS : After Angioplasty cost cut, Now stent prices reduced to less than half

22 Feb, 2013 11:29a.m.
After sharp cut in angioplasty operation costs under Central Government Health Scheme (CHGS), the government government has again hit by capping price on stents from Rs 65,000 to Rs25,000 each for its employees.

Stents are tiny medical devices used to clear blockages in arteries, thereby preventing heart attacks via angioplasty operation. A medical stent costs almost Rs 1 lakh. Recently, the government slashed the package for an entire angioplasty operation to Rs 50,000 from Rs 1.25 lakh, making it almost impossible for the hospitals under CGHS to do the procedure with the amount. Now the government will only provide Rs 25,000 for drug-eluting stents whether they are local or international make. The entitlement for bare metal stents will be Rs 10,000 each, which was 50,000 in 1997 and reduced to 20,000 in 2011. Moreover, government employees and their relatives cannot seek more than two drug-eluting stents. The revised  cap on stents means an angioplasty plus stents cannot overshoot Rs 1 lakh for serving and retired government servants.

For the CGHS hospitals, where they were eligible for Rs 1,92,500 for an angioplasty procedure, the new limit will be Rs. 75,000.

The government claims that it will not only save tax-payers’ money but will also make the angioplasty more affordable for people who are not insured. Apart from bringing down the cost of the procedure, this move will also give the Indian stent manufacturers a level playing field with the multinational equipment manufacturers.

So ultimately the government is forcing the employees to go for most-lowly priced stents, that are locally made and don't go through the rigorous certification process that foreign ones do. And definitly this will be a push for private health insurance companies

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