Another private hospital in Hyderabad is under fire following several complaints regarding overcharging coronavirus patients. On Tuesday evening, the Telangana government issued orders prohibiting Virinchi Hospital from offering treatment to COVID-19 patients — nearly 24 hours after it took a similar action against Deccan Hospital over ‘surplus billing’.
According to the latest orders, both hospitals are barred from admitting or treating any confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
The office of the director of Public Health and Family Welfare has directed the management of Virinchi hospital to ensure treatment to patients who are currently admitted there and charge them in accordance with government’s fixed price-cap. It has also warned the hospital against cancellation of its registration if it failed to comply with government norms.
On June 15, the government fixed a ceiling on the rates chargeable by private hospitals and private laboratories in the course of testing for COVID-19 and treatment of positive patients. It had also specified the rates applicable per day for the various treatment packages provided by the facility such as regular beds, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) without ventilation and ICU with ventilation.
“In spite of clear ceiling guidelines, it has been observed that M/s Virinchi Hospital, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad has been charging exorbitant rates, improper and surplus billing, and not adhering to the ceiling guidelines,” the order said.
Following receipt of several complaints against the hospital, an inquiry was conducted and the hospital was found guilty of violations. The action was taken under the Telangana Allopathic Private Medical Care Establishments (Registration & Regulation) Act-2002.
Out of 88 private hospitals offering COVID-19 treatment in Telangana, 53 are under the jurisdiction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits.
According to the daily medical bulletin, 118 of the 130 beds allocated for COVID-19 treatment in Virinchi hospital are occupied as of August 3.
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