Online Initiative Connects Docs, Patients, Lowers Cost

BANGALORE: Despite a government order that requires hospitals to display a price list for all surgeries and medical procedures, many still do not comply.

With action being sought against those charging exorbitant rates and the need for regulation to end the exploitation of patients, a few medical professionals and groups have come up with initiatives that will help patients secure a negotiated and guaranteed price for medical procedures. It will also enable them to search and select healthcare providers.

“Even as the US Federal government is still struggling to address this issue, in India, we are very far away from reality, as the charges for a simple to complex procedure varies from 30-50 per cent in different hospitals from city to city. With more than 10,000  medical and surgical procedures, hospitals do not want to reveal the prices and therefore, the government order has not been implemented,” says DocTree Health founder and CEO, Dr Sreenivasan Narayana.

He has come up with a virtual hospital platform bringing in transparency in India’s healthcare system. This is a two-way dynamic online process where doctors and hospitals review patient details and offer prices based on the ward category for the procedure.

Within three months of its launch, DocTree has connected more than 25,000 patients to doctors and hospitals in Hubli and Bangalore by providing affordable but quality healthcare.

 “We have redefined the essential doctor-patient relationship; allowing patients to access quality healthcare at the right price, and helping doctors stay focused on the clinical aspects of their profession,” Dr Narayana adds.

“Lack of standard information, transparency and standard pricing are the major concerns of the health care industry. There is no science behind why the cost of surgery varies from hospital to hospital,” says Krish Ganesan, CEO of People Health, which claims to be India’s first online medical services company providing medical service under two categories -- basic service and bettering life service.

Apart from routine check-ups, the service includes surgeries like knee replacement, cardiac surgery, pituitary gland surgery and other major surgeries. “So far, we have undertaken 70 surgeries. We have had an overwhelming response. For example, once, a patient was initially quoted `1.5 lakh for a knee replacement surgery. After availing People Health services, they got the surgery for 70 per cent of the previously quoted price,” Krish Ganeshan adds.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bangalore/Online-Initiative-Connects-Docs-Patients-Lowers-Cost/2014/07/02/article2310556.ece