Difference Between OPD and IPD

August 4, 2023
Dhairya Thakker
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OPD Full Form - What is OPD?

OPD stands for Outpatient Department. In simple terms, this refers to a section of the hospital where patients receive healthcare services without being admitted to the hospital. Consultations, minor surgical and diagnostic procedures, follow-ups, and treatments that do not require the patient to stay in the hospital come under OPD services. It is worth noting that OPD treatment is not restricted to hospital premises and can be availed at clinics, consultation rooms, and even virtually.

IPD Full Form - What is IPD?

On the other hand, IPD stands for Inpatient Department. This refers to the department where patients undergo treatment that requires them to stay in the hospital for more than 24 hours. Patients availing IPD services are formally admitted to the hospital, often involving a more severe medical condition that necessitates close monitoring and a range of healthcare services.

Key Differences Between OPD and IPD

Understanding the difference between OPD and IPD treatments is vital, especially when choosing a suitable health insurance policy. Here are the main differences.

Hospital Stay: IPD treatments involve a hospital stay of over 24 hours, while OPD treatments don't require hospital admission.

Treatment Nature: IPD treatment caters to severe conditions requiring close monitoring and several healthcare services. In contrast, OPD covers routine check-ups, consultations, minor procedures, and treatments.

Costs: Typically, IPD treatments are more expensive than OPD treatments due to the comprehensive care and facilities provided.

Health Insurance Coverage: Most standard health insurance policies cover IPD expenses, but not all policies cover OPD expenses. Therefore, it is essential to understand your health needs and choose a policy accordingly.

Claim Resolution Procedure for OPD & IPD

Navigating through the claim process for OPD and IPD treatments can seem daunting. Here, we simplify the steps for you.

OPD Claim Process

  1. Initial Payment: You need to pay for the OPD treatment initially. This includes consultation fees, diagnostic tests, medicines, etc.
  2. Claim Documentation: Collect all relevant bills, medical reports, and other documents.
  3. Claim Submission: Submit these documents along with the duly filled claim form to the insurance company.
  4. Claim Verification: The insurance company verifies the documents and the treatment. If everything is as per policy terms, the claim is approved.
  5. Reimbursement: After approval, the claim amount is reimbursed to your account.

IPD Claim Process

The IPD claim process can be cashless or reimbursement-based, depending on whether the hospital is within the insurer's network.

Cashless Claim

  1. Intimation: Inform the insurance company about the hospitalization.
  2. Pre-Authorization: The hospital sends a pre-authorization form to the insurer.
  3. Verification: The insurer checks the details and approves the pre-authorization if everything is in order.
  4. Treatment & Discharge: You receive treatment and are discharged without paying anything out of pocket. The insurer directly settles the bill with the hospital.

Reimbursement Claim

  1. Initial Payment & Treatment: Pay for the treatment upfront. Get treated and collect all bills and medical documents.
  2. Claim Submission: Submit these documents along with the claim form to the insurance company post-discharge.
  3. Verification: The insurer verifies the claim. If it complies with policy terms, the claim is approved.
  4. Reimbursement: The approved claim amount is reimbursed to your account.

Knowing this process will ensure a smoother, hassle-free experience when you need to avail of your health insurance benefits.

Understanding the difference between OPD and IPD is crucial for navigating healthcare services effectively and choosing the right health insurance plan. Knowing what these terms stand for, what services they include, and how they differ can ensure you make informed healthcare decisions. Therefore, remember to consider both OPD and IPD coverages when picking a health insurance policy that caters to your unique health needs.


Q: What is included in OPD treatment?

A: OPD treatment includes consultations, routine check-ups, minor surgical procedures, and treatments that do not require hospital admission.

Q: What is included in IPD treatment?

A: IPD treatments involve a range of healthcare services that require the patient to be admitted to the hospital, usually for a period exceeding 24 hours.

Q: Does health insurance cover OPD and IPD treatments?

A: Most health insurance policies cover IPD treatments. However, coverage for OPD treatments depends on the specifics of your policy. Some comprehensive plans do offer OPD coverage.