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Navi Mumbai: NMMC receives over 1100 complaints of inflated medical bills for COVID-19 treatment

08:55 AM Jun 12, 2021 | Amit Srivastava

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has already asked private hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to get all medical bills approved by the civic body at least 48 hours before a patient is discharged. But the civic body has already received over 1100 complaints regarding inflated medical bills since 2020 and now the civic body is auditing each complaint one by one.

As per the civic health department, the civic body has already received a total of 1,162 complaints regarding inflated medical bills since the outbreak of the pandemic. While in the first phase, the civic body had issued notices and directed hospitals to return 1.36 crores to patients. In the second phase, around 40 medical bills were audited and directed to return around Rs 40 lakh to relatives of patients.

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A total of 37 private hospitals are treating COVID patients under the NMMC area. As per the complaints, the cost of COVID treatment ranged between Rs 10 to Rs 20 lakh. Patients who can afford to pay the bill or having insurance managed to the treatment cost. However, there were many patients who could not bear the cost trapped in high medical bills.

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As per the notification issued by the state government on May 21, 2020, private hospitals can charge for the treatment of Covid patients as decided by the state government. However, the NMMC was receiving complaints from patients, as well as their relatives, that some hospitals were violating the order. A show-cause notice was issued to the concerned private hospital and patients’ families got relief.

Now, the civic body has deputed 30 auditors to check the medical bills of the complainant and suggest action.

Meanwhile, a senior civic official said that now inflated medical bills issued will not arise as private hospitals have to get all medical bills approved by the civic body at least 48 hours before a patient is discharged.

Now, all private hospitals treating Covid patients must send a draft bill 48 hours before the discharge of the patient to cbcc@nmmconline.com of the NMMC and it is verified by the special audit committee within 48 hours.

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