Home Dehradun Empanelled hospitals made to return payment taken from Ayushman beneficiaries

Empanelled hospitals made to return payment taken from Ayushman beneficiaries


By Our Staff Reporter

Dehradun, 26 May: The State Health Authority has taken strict action against the hospitals that are empanelled under the Ayushman Health Scheme but still took money from Ayushman Card holding Covid patients admitted for treatment.
In a statement issued, today, Chairman of the State Health Authority, DK Kotia said that action had been taken against 22 hospitals listed under the Ayushman Health Card scheme and made to return a total amount of Rs 46.432 lakhs to 99 beneficiaries. However, the bigger question is whether only 99 beneficiaries of the scheme were made to pay for Covid treatment by the empanelled hospitals or a substantially higher number of such patients have suffered in this way.
In addition, the State Health Authority also ordered recovery of Rs 3.75 lakhs from Neelkanth Multispeciality Hospital in Haldwani, which had forced a card holder named Leeladhar Nailwal to shell out this amount for treatment of Covid-19 infection. Recovery will be done under the “Guidelines for Recoveries and Other Actions Post Confirmation of Fraud and Other Irregularities” issued by the National Health Authority for this purpose. Claims worth Rs 2.03 lakhs are also pending before the government in respect of Neelkanth Multispeciality Hospital. This amount would now not be paid by the authority to the hospital but adjusted against partial payment of the total amount of recovery. For recovery of the remaining amount of Rs 1.72 lakhs, the hospital has been ordered to deposit the amount in the bank account of the State Health Authority within 7 days of the order so that it could be transferred to the account of the beneficiary.
Authority Chairman DK Kotia said that a serious irregularity had been committed by the Neelkanth Multispeciality Hospital by not giving free treatment to the Ayushman card holder patient of Covid-19 in an emergency. This act of the hospital was not only a violation of the mandate, the guidelines and the rules but, also, from a humanitarian point of view, it was a highly reprehensible and objectionable act. He added that such behaviour not only fell under the category of unethical behaviour by the hospital in the critical circumstances of Covid-19, but was also a criminal act to fleece illicit funds from patients and their families. In such a situation, keeping this hospital listed under the Ayushman Scheme in the public interest would not seem appropriate. He added that hospitals indulging in such behaviour ought to be blacklisted so that other hospitals also learn due lessons. The Authority had served a show cause notice to the hospital asking it to submit its reply within 7 days why this hospital ought not to be blacklisted under the Ayushman Scheme.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Arunendra Singh Chauhan, said it had also come to the notice of the State Health Authority that about 275 patients of Covid-19 have been treated by this hospital. A copy of this order had also been sent to the Secretary, Medical Health and Medical Education, Government of Uttarakhand, Director General, Medical Health and Family Welfare, Uttarakhand, District Magistrate, Nainital and Chief Medical Officer, Nainital, for further inquiry and action.
Kotia also held a meeting with Mahant Indresh Hospital through virtual conference. All the empanelled hospitals have been strictly directed to ensure that the beneficiaries of Ayushman Health Scheme were not charged in cash by the hospitals failing which they would be liable for action.