Monday, 7 March 2016

Treatment on EMIs

Treatment on EMIs

Dr K K Aggarwal Established hospital chains such as Metro have their own schemes and companies like Medtronic have EMIs for cardiac devices. To avail the EMI option, a patient must have at least one earning member in the family who is ready to take a psychometric test prepared by the company that would measure his sincerity and willingness to pay back on time. The test would also assess if a patient really needs the EMI assistance. If the patient pays back within six months, he won't be charged interest. If he takes longer (with a maximum limit of five years), the firm may recover the cost of capital and administrative processing by levying a minimum interest rate of up to 8.25%. Eighty-five percent of the cost is loaned and the EMI can be as low as Rs 1000/- per month. For insulin pumps, Medtronic is testing a rental model. So diabetics could try out the product at Rs 7,000 per month for a few months and then decide whether they would like to own one. Metro Hospitals, a healthcare chain in north India, already offers discounts of 30-50% on hip and knee replacement surgeries for a specific month. Indian subsidiary of US-based Merck & Co recently floated its project Sambhav in Punjab for its product Interferon, a drug used in treatment of Hepatitis C. The drug maker has partnered with a financial credit company in this project to offer financial assistance to the patients at no extra charge. Medtronic is also planning to extend similar EMI options for some other disease areas like spine, neuromodulation (deep brain stimulation), etc. For instance, Abirapro - used in treatment of prostate cancer, and anti-breast cancer drug Evermil - both marketed by Glenmark Pharma - are available on EMI schemes. The therapy for Abirapro costs anywhere between Rs 25000-30000 per month and Evermil is priced at Rs 15000-24,000 per month. With EMI facilities, patients may opt to pay within a tenure of 3 months, 6 months and 9 months for these drugs. In US home buyers usually do not pay cash for their new house but instead get a mortgage. The same concept might work for drug costs, according to researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School, in Boston. In an article published online February 24 in Science Translational Medicine, the authors outline a feasible, albeit controversial, market-based solution that could immediately help patients pay for expensive drugs. Similar to a home mortgage, the basic concept of the "healthcare loan" (HCL) is to convert a large upfront medical expense into a series of smaller payments that are spread out over the course of many years. HCLs is financed through a process known as securitization ― a financial practice of pooling various types of loans and selling their related cash flows to third-party investors as securities

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