In January 2019 the government of Thailand added medicine, Medical supplies and Medical services to its price control lists. The rationale behind this decision is ensuring fairness for both patients and operators of private hospitals, as pointed out by the commerce minister.
It is estimated that the impact of price controls will mostly likely be felt by the private hospitals and healthcare providers. However, on a broader level, the price controls could result in a standardization of healthcare terminologies and delivery in terms of how services are ordered.
Currently, most hospitals in Thailand, and especially those that are private, have unique software programs that are designed specifically for their internal use, making it almost impossible for electronic information-sharing across hospitals. Price controls may pave the way for a more standardized way of recording health information to facilitate reimbursement both for healthcare providers and payers/insurance providers.
While the move towards a unified national electronic healthcare record in Thailand may not happen in the short term, the new price controls create tangible opportunities for both public and private healthcare providers to provide more value and quality to their patients through leveraging health IT technologies.
(Sources: Bangkok Post; Healthcare IT News)