Inpatient Hospitalisation vs Outpatient Hospitalisation

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 16/02/2022

When you go to a hospital to undergo treatments, check-ups, or medical procedures, you will have the option of receiving the health care services either in an outpatient department or in an inpatient care centre. To better understand the type of hospitalisation you’d require, you need to understand the definition of each one of these two.

Inpatient vs outpatient is a common discussion amongst everyone. Understanding which is essential for your medical treatment will be based on your understanding of the difference between inpatient and outpatient hospitalisation. In this blog, we have framed a simple differentiation between these two.

However, before moving on to the same, we need to tell you that medical emergencies may arise at any point in time. And keeping in mind the current inflation of medical costs in the country, it’s prudent to have a health insurance policy in place.

There are different types of insurance plans available with Tata AIG like critical illness insurance, family floater plans, covid insurance plans, etc. So you need to understand your needs better in order to choose the right insurance policy for yourself and your family.

Now, let’s get into inpatient and outpatient hospitalisation details in India.

What is Inpatient Hospitalization?

Inpatient hospitalisation is when a patient needs to be admitted to the hospital for undergoing tests, treatments, or medical procedures. Mostly, patients with a pre-planned surgery or those who meet with a medical emergency are considered under inpatient hospitalisation. In most cases, the admitted patients in the inpatient department require thorough monitoring and observation by medical professionals.

Types of Inpatient Treatments

Any serious illness like strokes, heart attacks, and so on requires inpatient hospitalisation. Also, childbirth treatment for chronic diseases like cancer, sudden burn, accidental injuries, etc., requires inpatient care.

Here are two different types of inpatient care –

  • Severe health conditions: Patients with serious health concerns will need in-depth observation and constant monitoring from medical professionals. Some of these illnesses include severe respiratory disorders, brain damage, coma, etc.

  • Complicated surgeries: From any critical health surgeries, brain surgeries, or childbirth, all of these require inpatient care in a hospital. Most of these complicated surgeries need long-term observation under doctors and other healthcare professionals for a certain period.

What is Outpatient Hospitalization?

Outpatient care is when a person only requires discussion with the medical professionals or minimal medical procedures that won’t require them to get hospitalised. This includes diagnostic tests, doctor’s consultation, rehabilitation, etc. Such procedures are usually conducted in clinics, diagnostic centres, etc. If you opt for a health insurance policy, you may not get outpatient hospitalisation coverage unless you choose a specified add-on cover for availing of the same. For example, at Tata AIG, you can opt for an OPD (Out-patient Department) Cover along with your chosen health plan.

Types of Outpatient Treatments

Some of the most common outpatient care includes minor surgeries that do not require hospitalisation, diagnostic tests like ECG, EEG, blood tests, CT scans, etc. Certain procedures like chemotherapy and dialysis also don’t require hospitalisation. Dental procedures like scaling, RCTs, implants, and extractions are examples of OPD care.

Here are a few more types of common outpatient treatments:

  • X Rays & CT scans: Diagnostic tests like x rays for broken bones, ECGs, EEGs, and CT scans to comprehend any issues in the body are considered OPD treatments.

  • Urine Analysis: Urine analysis is done to find out kidney issues, bladder infections, diabetes, and so on.

  • Chemotherapy and Dialysis: Although these treatments are required to treat severe health conditions like cancer and kidney failures, the procedures can be done in a clinic or an OPD department of a hospital.

  • Dental Procedures: Dental consultations for scaling, Root Canal treatments, polishing, and so on are considered to be outpatient treatments.

  • Echocardiograms & Sonograms: Performing these scans doesn’t require a patient to undergo any incisions or surgeries. Hence, these are also considered to be outpatient procedures.

Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Care – At a Glance!

Here is a simple differentiation between the two –

Situation Inpatient Care Outpatient Care
Definition When a patient needs to be admitted to the hospital for more than 24 hours to undergo treatments and procedures When a patient doesn’t require any formal hospitalization and when the procedures or consultations can be done in an OPD centre/department.
Treatment Complex surgeries, traumatic injuries, accidental injuries, severe ailments, etc. Blood check-ups, CT scans, ECGs, EEGs, medical screenings, etc.
Pricing Higher than OPD treatments Lesser than inpatient treatments
Medical Care Specialist physicians, surgeons, doctors, physical therapists, etc. Physicians, therapists, nurses, medical assistants, etc.

Tata AIG Health Insurance – What Can You Expect?

Selecting adequate health insurance could be a daunting task. However, with Tata AIG, you get the assurance of availing of the best health insurance benefits at affordable premium rates. We ensure that you will not have to break the bank while getting the benefits of your chosen insurance plan withtext us. With Covid-19 cover, our insurance plan will provide you coverage for every expense related to your Covid-19 treatment.

Tata AIG’s health insurance policy covers the medical expenses incurred by you in the wake of pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization. With our MediCare and MediCare Protect Health Insurance Plans, your chosen sum insured covers the medical bills that are generated 30 to 60 days before your hospitalization, and 60 to 90 days following your (or the policyholder’s) discharge from the network hospital.


All said and done; you now have understood the difference between inpatient and outpatient care, isn’t it? And this understanding will help you pick the right health insurance plan with the right add-on covers.

At Tata AIG, we have a very simple insurance buying and renewal process online. Having such a policy in place will ensure financial protection against unforeseen ailments in the long run.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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