50 TS hospitals refunded Rs 1 crore to patients after overcharging complaints

The state government on June 23 capped the treatment cost of Covid 19 treatment after the Telangana High Court's reprimand for delaying the order to put a cap on the treatment cost of COVID19.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  3 July 2021 5:20 AM GMT
50 TS hospitals refunded Rs 1 crore to patients after overcharging complaints

Hyderabad: The Medchal Malkajgiri district medical and health officer (DMHO) on June 19 directed New Lifeline Hospital in Kapra to refund Rs. 32,893 to a patient who was overcharged for COVID-19 treatment.

The hospital charged M. Umesh Rs. 89,000 for COVID-19 treatment. Later, he complained to the district medical authority about the overcharging.

The DMHO said that after the appropriate authority had scrutinized the bill it was found that the hospital had charged an excess amount of Rs. 32,893. This is not the only case where a hospital has been asked to refund money to a patient.

According to the Telangana director of public health, around 50 hospitals in the state have returned around Rs. 1 crore to patients after they complained to the health department regarding overcharging.

In an affidavit to the Telangana High Court, the director of public health said on 23 May the department resolved 30 grievances in which the hospitals had to cough up Rs. 72,20,277 to the patients. The health department also cancelled the COVID licences of 12 hospitals.

"We are regularly dealing with such issues. As long as there are COVID-19 cases in Telangana, we will have to deal with overcharging by hospitals," said G. Srinivasa Rao, the director of public health said on Monday.

The state government on June 23 capped the treatment cost of Covid 19 treatment after the Telangana High Court's reprimand for delaying the order to put a cap on the treatment cost of COVID19 and black fungus in private hospitals.

In its order, the government said that the charges for the routine ward with isolation facility will cost Rs 4000 per day, while the charges for ICU without ventilator will cost Rs 7,500 per day. Charges for ICU with ventilator will cost Rs 9000 per day. All this includes monitoring and investigation like CBC, Urine routine, HIV spot, Anti HCV, HbsAg, Serum Creatinine, USG, 2D ECHO, X-Ray, ECG, Drugs, Consultations, Bed Charges, meals, procedures like Ryle's Tube insertion, urinary tract catheterization.

The government said that it did not include interventional procedures. However, it involves central line insertion, chemo port insertion, bronchoscopic procedures, biopsies, ascitic/pleural tapping which may be charged at a rack rate. Also, high-end drugs like immunoglobulins, Meropenem, parenteral nutrition, Tocilizumab, etc to be charged at MRP.

These rates are not applicable to the patients subscribing to insurance schemes and those being treated under various agreements/MoUs with the hospitals and different sponsored groups or corporate entities.

The government has fixed charges for investigation pertaining to COVID19. A High-Resolution CT scan will be charged at Rs 1995. The IL-6 test will be charged 1,300 and a digital X-Ray will be charged Rs 300. D-Dimer test will be charged Rs 800, while CRP test will be charged Rs 500. Procalcitonin test will be charged Rs 1400, Ferritin test will be charged at Rs 400 and LDH test will be charged Rs 140 at private labs.

The government also fixed the ambulance charge for the patients. The ambulance charge for the basic life-supporting system will be Rs 75 per kilometer (minimum charge will be Rs 2000) while for the advanced life-supporting system will be Rs 125(minimum charge will be Rs 3000).

The government said all the private hospitals shall strictly follow the treatment guidelines issued from time to time by the centre and the state. The hospital should refrain from experimental treatment. Unnecessary Investigation repeated HRTCs, and Inflammatory markers are to be avoided.

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