COVID-19 Pune: Special 28 audit teams to pre-verify bills above Rs 1.5 lakh issued by private hospitals

Salil Urunkar
Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Any private hospital issuing bill of more than Rs 1.5 lakh to patients for COVID-19 treatment in Pune will be verified by an audit officer deputed by the local administration

Pune: Any private hospital issuing bill of more than Rs 1.5 lakh to patients for Covid-19 treatment will be verified by an audit officer deputed by the local administration. For this purpose, 28 teams of audit officers have been formed which will verify bills from 30 hospitals in the city.

Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao informed about this decision in an online media interaction on Tuesday (August 11) evening. Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Vikram Kumar, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Commissioner Shravan Hardikar also attended the meeting.

Rao said that the district administration is receiving complaints from patients and their relatives against private hospitals in large numbers about inflated bills being issued. District administration 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 the decision of forming 28 teams to verify all bills has been taken.

Explaining the rationale behind the Rs 1.5 lakh limit and the decision to pre-verify bills, Rao said, “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, we have included four doctors to the team of auditors. Apart from the doctors, there will be eight deputy collectors with the auditors to supervise the pre-verification of bills being issued.”

“Private hospital managements had raised a pertinent issue of delayed discharge to patients if the pre-verification of bills is not done in time. We have planned and formed the audit teams in such a way that they will pre-verify the bills within one hour of the hospital formulating them. Once the bill is verified by the audit team, it will be immediately issued to the patients,” Rao said.

“So far district administration has received 83 complaints against private hospitals in the city. Taking cognisance of these complaints, show cause notices have been issued to the hospitals. About 11 hospitals have replied to these notices till now. Rest of the cases are being scrutinised. The jumbo hospital facilities of the civic bodies will take another few days, till then we have to depend on the private hospitals,” Rao added.

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