Navi Mumbai, May 26: Private hospitals treating COVID 19 patients under the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) will have to get approved all medical bills from the civic body at least 48 hours before the discharge of the patients. The civic administration has changed its previous decision wherein patients can lodge a complaint if hospitals charged over the permissible rate, decided by the state government.
Soon after the second wave of COVID 19 hit, the civic body had reactivated the COVID 19 Bill Complaint Centre. The centre solves inflated bills related to issues in private hospitals. The civic body had also issued a helpline number where patients’ families can approach if they are charged over the permissible rate while getting treatment of COVId 19.
While reviewing the audit reports from April 1 to April 30 of bills related complaint, the civic chief Abhijit Bangar decided that bills must be cleared by the civic body before the patient is discharged from a private hospital, treating COVID 19 patients.
Bangar directed to set up a special audit committee to verify the possible payment from the hospitals, 48 hours in advance while the patients are being discharged in the future.
As per the notification issued by the state government on May 21, 2020, the private hospitals can charge for the treatment of COVID patients as decided by the state government. However, 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 concern private hospital and patients family got a respite from inflated medical bills.
Now, all the private hospitals treating COVID 19 patients have to send the draft payment 48 hours before the discharge of the patient to the email id email@example.com of NMMC. The Special Audit Committee will verify the received payments within 48 hours and inform the hospitals about the feedback and details.
In addition, the civic body has also appointed a Payment Coordinating Officer for private hospitals to coordinate the payments in this manner. The co-ordinating officers will ensure that information on possible payments of patients discharged after 48 hours is sent by email from the hospital to the Special Audit Committee. The commissioner also directed to immediately set up a dashboard for this purpose so that the audit could be monitored within 48 hours.