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Hospital fee revisions for non-eligible persons and private patients endorsed by HA Board

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) Board discussed and endorsed at the Administrative and Operational Meeting today (November 26) the review of hospital fees and charges levied on non-eligible persons (NEPs) and private patients. The fee revisions proposed for implementation on April 1, 2013, will be gazetted for public notice following necessary resolution from Hospital Governing Committees and direction from the Government.

     The HA Board Members were briefed on the consideration for the proposed fee revisions and also noted that the fees for public services for eligible persons (EPs) have been excluded from the current review.

     The HA spokesman said, "The level of subsidy for EPs has remained largely the same with only a slight increase from 97 per cent in 2001/02 to 98 per cent in 2013/14. At the same time, hospital service priority should be reserved for EPs given the limited public resources."

     Currently, NEPs are treated in public hospitals only under a "life- or limb-threatening" situation and will be charged for fees which have been set with a cost recovery principle and on an all-inclusive basis.

     "To achieve an overall recovery of costs across all specialties, the fees and charges for NEP services are proposed to be increased by 44.5 per cent on average when compared to the level of fees and charges in 2003," the spokesman added.

     For private services in public hospitals, which are provided as a means for the public to access specialised expertise, and facilities not generally available in the private sector, charges are set on the higher of the cost or the market price for the respective services.

     "Based on the HA's costing analysis, the fees and charges for private services are proposed to be increased by 45 per cent on average when compared to the level of fees and charges in 2003, representing an increase rate of 3.4 per cent per annum on average from 2002/03 to 2013/14," the spokesman said.

     The proposed revisions of NEP and private patient charges based on the review are projected to lead to an increase of revenue of $133 million per year.

     A new listing approach for private service itemised charges will also be adopted to present the charging items of a broad range of major disciplines in the Gazette, supplemented with the latest detailed list on the HA website.

     "This will keep the charge list current, transparent and easily accessible by the public."

     The HA Board was also updated today on the progress of the Patient Billing and Revenue Collection (PBRC) System revamp in public hospitals.

     Members noted that the new system will be rolled out in phases and will be implemented first in Kowloon Central Cluster and Queen Mary Hospital in January 2013.

     "Upon the completion of the roll-out, charges in all hospitals and treatment episodes for an individual patient will be consolidated in a single bill, which can be settled in any hospital shroff or other payment outlets such as convenience stores and online payment systems," the spokesman added.

     The spokesman pointed out that an information video and pamphlets will be produced for patients to understand the convenience of the new PBRC system which will be implemented in phases in all public hospitals within 2013/14.

Ends/Monday, November 26, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:24


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