COVID-19 Pune: PMC deducts more than Rs 70,000 per bill after scrutiny of 36 inflated bills from private hospitals

Salil Urunkar
Sunday, 23 August 2020

An average of Rs 70 thousand or more has been deducted from the 36 inflated bills issued by private hospitals to patients who were treated for Covid-19

Pune: An average of Rs 70 thousand or more has been deducted from the 36 inflated bills issued by private hospitals to patients who were treated for Covid-19. The deduction in the bills came after the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) appointed auditors inspected 49 bills of private hospitals in the last week, of which 36 were found to be inflated on various counts.

PMC will also follow-up with legal action against the hospitals after reducing the inflated bills. Out of the Rs 1.71 crore of total amount of inflated bills, PMC has so far deducted Rs 25.69 lakh.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope has asked district and civic administration to file cases against private hospitals who refuse to abide by the billing norms issued by the government. “Collect Rs 500 as penalty if any hospital is found overcharging patients by Rs 100, and file cases if these hospitals do not listen despite warnings,” Tope had said.

District administration officials too had earlier appealed to private hospitals to refrain from such practices or else action would be initiated against them. Despite this some private hospitals are issuing inflated bills to patients and hence PMC and District administration has formed 28 teams to verify all hospital bills.

Under the bill audit drive conducted by PMC, all bills of more than Rs 1.5 lakh amount issued by the private hospitals to patients for Covid-19 treatment will be verified by an auditor deputed by the PMC. For this purpose, 28 teams of audit officers have been formed which will verify bills from 30 hospitals in the city. The auditors teams were formed after complaints against private hospitals from patients, relatives and political leaders were received on a large scale.

The Mahatma Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MPJAY) has limited the expenses for Covid-19 treatment to Rs 1.5 lakh. Any bill above this amount will be subject to scrutiny. Since there are many technical aspects involved in the billing, four doctors have been included in the team of auditors. Apart from the doctors, there are eight deputy collectors with the auditors to supervise the pre-verification of bills being issued. The audit is being done from August 14.

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