NEW DELHI: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has urged health insurance companies and healthcare providers to upgrade their standards and adopt ethical practices to provide access, equity and quality services to the patients on a sustainable basis.
Speaking at a FICCI Health Insurance Conference, Dr Subhash Chandra Khuntia, Chairman, IRDAI, said that access to quality health for a majority of the people was essential as currently 62% of the average health expenditure in the country is borne out-of-pocket against the world average of 18%.
At the same time, all the stakeholders have to reach out to the uninsured in remote areas and provide facilities at affordable rates to the poor, he added.
The IRDAI chairman also emphasized that standardization of rates and procedures offered by insurers was essential and for this self-regulation for appropriate treatment was imperative till such time as a regulator for healthcare services was in place.
Dr Khuntia advised companies to have an MoU with healthcare providers to keep healing rates in check.
The IRDAI chief also suggested that insurance companies could devise technological means to monitor the health parameters of beneficiaries to check lifestyle diseases like blood pressure and heart disease. The process would go a long way in keeping premiums affordable as also reduce claims from the patients at large.
Dr. Khuntia also opined that companies could look at covering Out Patient Department of a hospital and preventive care through various schemes.
Mr Girish Rao, Chair, FICCI Health Insurance Committee, said the challenge before the insurance industry was to find innovative and technological solutions to address the healthcare needs of the patients, especially the tech-savvy youth.