Private health and insurance companies will assume the extra cost of the medical act derived from the pandemic

Private hospital groups are facing heavy investments due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Two nurses tend to a patient.  EFE / Marcial Guillén

The needs derived from the Covid-19 pandemic are leading to a notable increase in the cost of healthcare in hospitals. Also in private healthcare, although this extra expense It will not affect patients, but will be assumed by the hospital groups themselves and the insurance companies.

An extraordinary cost that derives from the health crisis situation. This includes investment in personal protective equipment, the hiring of backup health professionals, the establishment of differentiated circuits for Covid patients and other pathologies, the increase in cleaning and disinfection work, among other measures.

And it is that, private health hospitals have had to face heavy investments to be able to increase ICU beds and provide the necessary medical supplies to care for patients. According to the calculations of the employer, ASPE, Only the purchases of the months of March and April 2020 were 71% more than all of 2019.

A doctor putting on PPE.

A doctor putting on PPE.
Reuters

Although, at the moment, hospital groups and insurance companies do not have calculations of how much the increase in expenses derived from the pandemic will be, they will assume this extra cost of the medical act.

In the case of Vithas, the hospital group has explained to Invertia that this budget overstrain has not had an impact on their private patients. These patients are those who do not have health insurance and go to one of the Vithas hospitals. That is, they will continue to pay the same for health care.

For their part, patients from insurance companies are governed by the policies they have contracted with their companies. In this case, “some of the largest insurance companies, such as Adeslas, Mapfre or DKV, they are helping us to face these extra costs ”.

However, negotiations are still underway with other companies “so that they also understand that this situation also concerns them,” they have explained from Vithas.

The impact of Covid-19 on private healthcare

The private health sector has not been spared the impact of the pandemic either. It should be remembered that, during the months of confinement, in Spain only healthcare activity was allowed except for Covid-19 patients and those urgent cases. This resulted in many small private health clinics having to close due to lack of patients.

ASPE estimates that there will be 3,000 centers that will end up closing permanently in 2021. And it is that, the situation for this year is raised in a similar way to that of 2020, at least, until the middle of the year.

In fact, on January 27, the Community of Madrid, after agreeing with the private health sector of the region, decided to recover an intermediate formula of the sole command and has ordered the “provision” of the ward and ICU beds in the more than 40 hospitals and health centers in Madrid.