The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has formed a six members special audit team to check the bills of COVID 19 patients, treated at private hospitals in its jurisdiction.
The team will visit the hospital and verify each bill and if found any discrepancies, the team will order further action.
The NMMC has been constantly receiving complaints regarding inflated bills at private hospitals. As many families approached the civic body, the civic chief Abhijit Bangar assured that the civic body would audit private hospital account where COVID 19 patients were treated since the outbreak.
The six members team will be headed by an additional municipal commissioner and it will complete the audit in a timely manner. “The team scrutinizes the payments made for the COVID 19 treatment since the outbreak,” said civic chief Bangar during a review meeting held last week. He instructed the teams to complete the work in a timely manner and suggest improvements.
Bangar also suggested that a written bond should be taken from hospitals, explaining that the COVID 19 patients should be treated properly by the hospitals at the rates fixed by the government and the patient should not be financially cheated in any way. The role of the audit committee is to verify the rates charged by the hospitals and submit details to the commissioner every week.
The Public Health department of the state government had issued a notification on May 21 to the Health Care Providers (various hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries) registered under the Bombay Nursing Homes (Amendment) Act, 2006 to provide medical services to the patients infected with COVID 19. The circular also mentioned about the rates to be charged while treating a COVID 19 patient. If any hospitals or nursing homes are found violating the norms, a competent authority like NMMC can take an action.
Early this month, the civic body had set up COVID-19 Bill Complaint Centre for the redressal of inflated bills by private hospitals. The centre acts within 24 hours of receiving the complaints. The citizen can also send complaints over the phone or through an email including a WhatsApp message with all documents. The complaint can be registered at 022-27567389 or WhatsApp at 7208490010. Even, citizens can email at email@example.com.
Last week, the civic body suspended operation of a Vashi based hospital for treating COVID 19 patients and also imposed Rs 1 lakh fine two hospitals.