Patients benefit from cross-region medical insurance

Cai Wenjun
Shanghai Delta has carried out hundreds of cardiovascular surgeries on patients from other provinces using cross-regional insurance over the past year.
Cai Wenjun

A patient from Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region recently underwent surgery at a local joint-venture hospital, which was covered by a cross-regional medical insurance system.

Shanghai Delta Hospital is one of the first batch of high-end private hospitals included in the government’s social medical insurance system.

One section of the hospital accepts social medical insurance and has adjusted its prices in line with local leading public providers, while payment at a VIP section can be made through commercial insurance, the hospital said.

The 49-year-old patient from Inner Mongolia was found with an aortic ulcer during a health exam and encouraged to go to a more advanced hospital for treatment. The patient was also told that Inner Mongolia has access to a cross-region medical insurance system with leading cities like Shanghai. Shanghai Delta, which specializes in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, is on the system's list of approved healthcare providers.

The patient came to Shanghai Delta last week and received surgery the following day.

The patient's entire bill was some 80,000 yuan (US$11,429) and the majority was settled directly by cross-region insurance.

“The whole process was very smooth and convenient. I am impressed by the skills of Shanghai experts and the efficient payment settlement,” said the patient, who was discharged for recovery.

According to Shanghai Delta, it has carried out hundreds of cardiovascular surgeries on patients from other provinces using cross-regional medical insurance payment over the past year. The medical insurance usually pays between 45 and 60 percent of medical expenses.

The national government is currently speeding up expansion of the cross-regional social medical system. So far, over 300 regions in some 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have joined the system, which allows patients to settle medical bills directly instead of first paying their expenses by cash and then getting reimbursement after returning home.

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