Singapore Private Healthcare Gets New Fee Yardstick By MoH

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Amidst the rising cost of healthcare, the Ministry of Health in Singapore has gone on to announce a new fee yardstick in case of hospital fees as well as surgeon and anaesthetic professional fees when it comes to the private healthcare sector.

Significant changes that have been made are:

  • Benchmarks have been adjusted so as to take into account the increase in costs.
  • Inception of new benchmarks in the case of hospital charges as well as professional fees.

Since the introduction, almost nine in ten doctors have been charging patients within the recommended surgeon fee yardstick. The median private surgeon fee happens to remain balanced, whereas the 90th percentile private surgeon fee has dipped by around 1.7% for processes with fee benchmarks.

MoH, in a statement, said that the new fee benchmarks go on to include:

Hospital Fee Benchmarks for 2100 Procedures, Anaesthetist Fee Benchmarks in the case of 500 Procedures, and Doctors’ Inpatient Attendance Fee Yardstick.

The revision of the benchmark

To make sure that the benchmarks are reflective of the present costs as well as inflationary pressures faced by doctors, the MoH has also gone on to alter the existing and new doctors’ professional fees by a growth factor, which has gone on to consider key costs like rental, manpower, as well as other operating expenses for the previous years.

MoH has also put forth hospital fee benchmarks for 21 common surgical procedures as well as eight common medical scenarios. The hospital fee yardstick goes on to include elements like hospital room costs, surgical facilities, equipment, consumables, implants, medication as well as general nursing services, and treatment.

It is well to be noted that hospital fee benchmarks do not include the professional fees of the doctors, which, by the way, happen to have a varied fee benchmark.

MoH has also gone on to advise patients and payers to take into account that some fee elements of the hospital fee benchmarks can be charged by the doctor who is treating them but billed via the hospital.

Apparently, such charging practises can very well vary across hospitals as well as doctors, even for a procedure and medical condition that look the same. MoH further said that patients can very well clarify with the doctor and even the hospital in case of doubt over who is the charging party.

The hospital fee benchmarks, notwithstanding this, help out with a common reference when it comes to the reasonableness of the total fee that is billed by the hospital, regardless of the party that is charging.

Notably, the doctors as well as the hospitals are encouraged sternly to be upfront when it comes to fee components that have been charged by them.