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Institute of Cost Accountants volunteer services to ICMR

Private labs, which had termed the Rs 4,500 cap as being on the ‘moderate side’, objected to the order as there was no clarity regarding reimbursement for the free tests.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 14, 2020, 07.03 PM IST
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ICMR
Private labs, which had termed the Rs 4,500 cap as being on the ‘moderate side’, objected to the order as there was no clarity regarding reimbursement for the free tests.
The Institute of Cost Accountants of India have volunteered their services to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the costing of Covid-19 test kits.

In a letter to the ICMR dated April 12, president of the cost accountants institute, Balram Bhargava said, “The Institute of Cost Accountants of India will be pleased to offer its services on a voluntary basis to ICMR with regard to the costing of the coronavirus tests to be carried out by the government or private pathological laboratories.”

The letter noted that the ICMR’s recommendation to cap the cost of Covid-19 tests at Rs 4,500 was challenged in the Supreme Court (SC), which in turn passed an order stating that Covid-19 tests should be done free of cost at both government facilities and private testing labs.

Private labs, which had termed the Rs 4,500 cap as being on the ‘moderate side’, objected to the order as there was no clarity regarding reimbursement for the free tests.

On April 13, the SC changed its initial order to state that citizens covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and from other economically weaker sections should get free Covid-19 tests.

The letter went on to mention that as healthcare services come under the ambit of the Companies (Cost Records and Audit) Rules 2014, the institute's members were well-versed with the healthcare business.

“With the given background, the Institute offers its support to the ICMR is finding ways to deal with the costing of COVID 19 tests so that more and more tests can be carried out by the laboratories on optimum cost,” Bhargava said.

How much should a Covid-19 test cost? The Institute of Cost Accountants of India has offered to do the costing for test kits on a “voluntary basis”.

“With the given background, the institute offers its support to the ICMR in finding ways to deal with the costing of Covid-19 tests so that more and more tests can be carried out by the laboratories at optimum cost,” Balwinder Singh, president of Institute of Cost Accountants, said in a letter to Balram Bhargava, secretary in the Department of Health Research in the ministry of health & family welfare and director general of Indian Council of Medical Research.

The letter said as healthcare services come under the ambit of the Companies (Cost Records and Audit) Rules 2014, the institute members were well-versed with the healthcare business.

The letter noted that the ICMR’s recommendation to cap the cost of Covid-19 tests at Rs 4,500 was challenged in the Supreme Court, which has passed an order stating that Covid-19 tests should be done free at both government facilities and private testing labs.

Private labs, which had termed the Rs 4,500 cap as being on the ‘moderate side’, have objected to the order as there is no clarity regarding reimbursement for the tests done.

On April 13, the SC changed its initial order to state that citizens covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme and from other economically weaker sections should get free Covid-19 tests.
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