Panel to probe complaints into private hospital billing

 thehindu.com  08/01/2020 18:41:59 

A committee consisting of senior Telangana government officials in would be formed to inquire into complaints of overcharging by private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment. Health Minister Eatala Rajender gave orders to this effect on Saturday, following a series of complaints and news reports related to the issue.

He held a meeting in Hyderabad where officials informed him about the range of complaints, including private hospitals turning away patients citing unavailability of beds, collecting 3-4 lakh as advance for admission, 1-2 lakh a day for COVID-19 treatment and asking bills to be cleared before a body is handed over for last rites.

On June 15, a government order had been issued, announcing the maximum rates chargeable by private hospitals for various services provided by them for COVID treatment. The charges ranged between 4000 and 9000 per day depending on the ward and ventilator support.

Some services were excluded from the maximum rates such as charges for COVID testing, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), high-end medicines such as immunoglobulins, high-end investigations such as CT-Scan, MRI, etc.

The Health Minister said the committee should ensure that the fixed rates are implemented, and that the government be regularly informed about availability of beds in private hospitals.

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