What is the difference between day care treatment and OPD treatment?

Outpatient department treatment (OPD) refers to a patient’s visit to a doctor or a clinic for medications and routine check-ups. On the other hand, Daycare treatments require a person to be in hospital for less than 24-hours, and the treatment is done after giving the local/general anesthesia. All the health insurance plans cover some or the other Daycare treatments but only a few provide coverage for OPD treatment.

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    What is Day Care Treatment?

    Day-care treatment refers to the medical procedures that require hospitalization of less than 24-hours. Such daycare treatments include dialysis, chemotherapy, cataract, radiation, tonsillectomy, etc. You can find the list of all the daycare procedures covered in your health insurance in your policy wordings and on the insurer’s website.

    What is OPD Treatment?

    OPD means an outpatient department, where patients come to the hospital to consult their health issues with the doctor to start the treatment. Patients do not necessarily need to be hospitalized but can visit any medical facility, such as a diagnostic center, consultation room, pharmacy, etc. in the hospital.

    You can check out OPD treatment plans and Daycare treatment plans online on our site. Both might sound similar but there is a huge difference between OPD and Daycare Procedures. Read on to know more:

    Know the Difference between Day Care and OPD Treatments

    It might seem that Day Care treatment and OPD treatment are similar in nature because they involve a lesser time for the treatment. However, there are some differences between the two.  

    One major point of difference between Day Care and OPD treatments is the level of hospitalization. Day Care procedures require you to stay in the hospital or clinic for few hours and even if it takes lesser time. And the same expenses can be claimed to your health insurance provider. If day care treatments are done on an outpatient basis that does not require hospitalization then the claim won’t be permissible under day care procedures.

    As we know that OPD treatments do not require hospitalization. All you need to do is visit a clinic or a hospital, avail of the treatment done without getting admitted into the hospital, pay the bills and later file it for reimbursement.  

    Day Care Treatments

    We all know that to be able to file a health insurance claim, a person needs to be admitted to the hospital for at least 24 hours. Because of technological advancements, there are certain medical treatments that require you to stay in the hospital for more than a day.  

    For example, till a few decades back, patients who have undergone cataract surgery need to be admitted to the hospital for a few days. But with Lasik cataract procedures, it takes less than a couple of hours for the complete procedure.  No longer has it required hospitalization.

    Every insurer and health plan covers such short-duration treatments, and the number of daycare procedures that are covered by your medical insurance plan are mentioned in the policy wordings and brochure.

    OPD Treatments

    When a person goes for OPD or Outpatient consultation it requires meeting a doctor or a specialist to treat the specific disease or illness that he/she is suffering from. It can include both treatment and diagnosis of the ailment and providing medications, vaccinations, scans, etc.

    A root canal treatment or fever consultation is the best example to understand OPD treatments. You can visit the doctor in a clinic or in a hospital without getting admitted, and therefore the treatment falls under the OPD category.


    When buying a health insurance policy it is important to understand the details. You should be clear in your expectations while choosing the right medical insurance plan to avoid any delay or complexities at the time of claim settlement.

    We hope with this article you can now understand the fine line of difference between OPD treatment and day-care procedures. Also, do not forget to renew your health insurance plan timely to avail treatment for either of them.  Most of the plans nowadays also cover COVID-19 treatment along with them. For more details, you can write to us at care@policybazaar.com.

    Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 29 June 2021

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