Auditors appointed by the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations, to verify the amounts being charged by private hospitals for treating Covid-19, have saved Rs 44 lakh of patients and their families so far, Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said on Tuesday.
After receiving several complaints of private hospitals overcharging Covid patients, the two civic bodies appointed multiple teams of auditors, which have started verifying the bills issued to Covid-19 patients admitted at various private hospitals in the city.
In Pune, the administration had received 102 complaints of overcharging by private hospitals and the auditors, upon checking the bills, found overcharging in 65 of the cases. The cumulative total of the bills checked was Rs 2.15 crore and the auditors found an unfair inflation of Rs 30.94 lakh in these. After adjustments, the cumulative total of the bills shrank to Rs 1.84 crore.
In Pimpri-Chinchwad, 31 bills were checked by the auditing teams after receiving complaints from patients and their families. The auditors found a cumulative inflation of Rs 12 lakh in the cumulative bill total of Rs 91.83 lakh.
“With the audit system, we have been able to save approximately Rs 44 lakh for families of Covid-19 patients,” said Rao.
The administration has also appointed 20 teams of auditors for hospitals in rural parts of the district. These teams have started the verification of bills in private hospitals located outside the city limits from August 25.
The administration has also acquired 80 per cent of beds across all private hospitals and nursing homes, and also capped the price of treatment. The hospitals are free to charge their own rates in the remaining 20 per cent of beds. The move is meant to expand bed capacity to treat Covid-19 patients, and also address the issue of exorbitant prices charged by private hospitals for patients who don’t have medical insurance.
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