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Friday, June 18, 2021

Showcause notices sent to three P’kula hospitals for overcharging

While Paras Hospital has had the maximum complaints against it, it is closely followed by Alchemist hospital. Wings Hospital was also added to the list recently.

Written by Pallavi Singhal | Panchkula |
June 6, 2021 2:50:50 am
Panchkula, COVID-19DC Panchkula had sought the District Attorney’s opinion once the investigation was completed. (File)

Panchkula administration Thursday issued six more show case notices to three different private hospitals. The administration has issued five such notices on Monday, taking the total to 11.

These notices were issued in connection with complaints about private hospitals overcharging patients for Covid treatment. Local MLA Gian Chand Gupta had written to the Haryana health minister Anil Vij after investigating three such complaints at the district level. Since then, these complaints have seen a huge rise. Last month, the administration had formed a investigative committee to look into matter.

While Paras Hospital has had the maximum complaints against it, it is closely followed by Alchemist hospital. Wings Hospital was also added to the list recently.

As per the notices accessed by The Indian Express, patients have been charged anywhere between 42 per cent to 345 per cent in excess of the liable amount as per instructions of the Haryana Government in June last year, capping Covid treatment prices in the state.

“We are investigating the matter at two fronts. Firstly, complaints are pouring in from wherever people have approached the administration including DC office, MLA office and CMO office. Secondly, we have launched a full investigation into the accounts of private hospitals wherein we are taking their patient details for the past two months and investigating any at random to find out about such cases,” said a member of the investigative committee, refusing to be identified.

“People have now found a means to reach us and someone to complain to, so the complaints have started rising. We have also seen the hospitals self-correcting, the recent bills we have scrutinised fall under the Haryana state guidelines,” added the member.

Complaints and show cause notices against Paras Hospital

Mamta Rani has been issued a bill Rs 3.29 lakh. As per the investigation committee, the bill should not have exceeded Rs 1.75 lakh. Her bill is 87.8 per cent in excess.

Kamla Devi was issued a bill of Rs 1.66 lakh for two days of hospitalisation. The bill should not have exceeded Rs 37,250. She has been charged 345 per cent in excess.

Man Singh was issued a bill of Rs 4.99 lakh. The bill has been based on the fact that the patient was administered intravenous drug immunoglobulin treatment 14 times at Rs 32,302 per dose, totalling to Rs 4.2 lakh, which was Rs 16,152 higher than the market rate per dose. The hospital has thus overcharged them by 50 per cent.

Vijay Kumar Goel, was issued a bill of Rs 19.51 lakh. The bill, however, should not have exceeded Rs 5.68 lakh. He has been charged Rs 13.8 lakh in excess.

Suresh Kumar Sud was issued a bill for Rs 2.22 lakh. The bill should not have exceeded Rs 81,620. He was charged 171.67 per cent in excess.

Complaints and show cause notices against Alchemist Hospital

Ashok Bhandari, was issued a bill of Rs 3.07 lakh. The bill should not have exceeded Rs 2.14 lakh. He has been charged 43.2 per cent in excess.

Rajinder Kumar was issued a bill of Rs 7.04 lakh for 24 days. The bill should not have exceeded Rs 3.52 lakh. He has been charged 99 per cent in excess.

Anju Aggarwal was issued a bill of Rs 3.03 lakh for nine days. The bill should not have exceeded Rs 2.13 lakh. She was charged 42 per cent in excess.

Milan Sharma, was issued a bill of Rs 3.63 lakh. However, had the patient been covered under the Haryana Government instructions, only Rs2.70 lakh would have been charged. He was charged 34 per cent in excess.

Complaints and show cause notices against Wings Hospital

Arun Kumar, was issued a bill of Rs 80,132 for three days. He has been overcharged Rs 34,132, stated the show cause notice. This makes it 74 per cent more than the actual amount.

DA suggests legal action

DC Panchkula had sought the District Attorney’s opinion once the investigation was completed.
The DA recommended legal action by way of filing FIRs per case. For the future, the HA added that a nodal officer should be appointed to private hospitals, through whom the payment is routed.

The FIRs will be registered under sections of cheating, forgery and disobedience to order duly promulgated under the IPC, the Epidemic Act and the Disaster Management Act.

Response of private hospitals

Denying allegations of overcharging, Alchemist hospital stated that “they are studying the show cause notices and will respond appropriately.”

Meanwhile, Paras hospital stated that they are “completely aligned with government policies and patient bills are prepared as per guidelines issued by government authorities. In this national pandemic, we are firmly standing alongside government in fighting it and serving the patients.”

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