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To stop private hospitals from overcharging Covid patients, expert teams to check exorbitant bills

Pune Divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said the experts' team will also verify the procedure adopted for treatment of patients as the Indian Council of Medical Research has been issuing specific instructions on the line of treatment to be adopted for Covid-19 patients.

By: Express News Service | Pune | August 12, 2020 10:55:53 pm
pune coronavirus latest updates, pune covid jumbo facility, pune covid facility, pune covid hospitals, pune city newsPune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao

As complaints about private hospitals in Pune inflating treatment bills of Covid-19 patients continue to pour in, the district administration has decided to set up multiple teams to scrutinise each and every exorbitant bill within an hour of it being prepared by the hospital to prevent such incidents. The move is also aimed at preventing unnecessary delays in the process of a patient being discharged from the hospital.

“… Relatives of patients have been complaining about inflated bills by private hospitals, which leads to a delay in discharge of patients,” said Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao on Wednesday.

He said there are a lot of technical and medical factors in hospital bills, so there is a need for a dedicated team to carry out “pre-audit” of expensive hospital bills before they are given to patients.

The Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MPJAY) by the central government has set a limit on the treatment amount that can be charged from a Covid patient, at Rs 1.5 lakh for 10-day admission in the hospital. “Hospital bills above Rs 1.5 lakh need to be scrutinised by the committee. The bill statement would be scrutinised by the appointed team and the decision on pre-audit would be done within one hour of the bill being prepared by the hospital… this will also help resolve the issue in time…,” said Rao

The divisional commissioner said the experts’ team will also verify the procedure adopted for treatment of patients as the Indian Council of Medical Research has been issuing specific instructions on the line of treatment to be adopted for Covid-19 patients.

As many as 28 teams will be set up for the purpose, which will also include some doctors, to check the medical aspects of the bill. Eight deputy collectors will also be part of the team, he said.

So far, the administration has received 83 complaints about inflated hospital bills and notices have been served in all the cases, but only 11 hospitals have responded to it, said Rao.

Due to the limited capacity of government hospitals, most Covid-19 patients are being treated at private hospitals in Pune, which has reported over 1 lakh cases till now. The administration is hopeful that after the jumbo facility is set up, the pressure on private hospitals will be alleviated substantially.

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