Complaint against hospital over stent charges

news source The times of India

MUMBAI: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority has received numerous complaints of alleged overcharging for cardiac stents by hospitals, including Lilavati in Bandra. The regulatory body under the Union health ministry has asked the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the matter.

The NPPA on February 13th had fixed the prices of drug eluting stents to Rs 29,600 and that of bare metal stents to Rs 7,260. It subsequently issued strict orders to hospitals to abide by the price cap. The body also set up helplines where patients could complain about instances of overcharging. Apart from the Bandra hospital, the NPPA on Thursday tweeted that it has received complaints against Max Hospitals in Saket, Metro Hospital in Faridabad, PGI Chandigarh and Ram Murthy Hospital in Bareilly. "The concerned state drug controllers has been alerted about the discrepancies," an NPPA official said.

The FDA officials confirmed to TOI that a complaint against Lilavati has been forwarded by the NPPA. "We will be studying all their records from the day the price ceiling was implemented. The bills for cardiac procedures will be checked," said an official. FDA commissioner Harshdeep Kamble confirmed that an inquiry would be carried out. The FDA helpline itself is yet to receive any complaints of overcharging.

A spokesperson from Lilavati said that the hospital has not charged anything beyond the NPPA guidelines

Apollo Hospital to return Rs 7.23 lakh treatment cost to family of deceased

Somdatta Basu| TNN | Updated: Feb 25, 2017, 10.22 AM IST

KOLKATA: Apollo Gleneagles Hospital decided to return the entire treatment cost of Rs 7.23 lakh to the family of Sanjay Rayfollowing calls from "top officials", the hospital's senior management announced at a press conference on Friday afternoon, hours after formertransport minister Madan Mitra had publicly threatened to shut the hospital down if it did not refund the money.

"We have received phone calls from top officials. We will return the entire amount to the family on humanitarian grounds and consider it a discount to a needy patient's family. The decision has been taken not under any duress," the hospital COO Joy Bose said after being persistently questioned by reporters on the amount billed for Sanjay Ray's treatment and the hospital's alleged refusal to allow his family to transfer him to state-run SSKM Hospital till they had paid the entire bill.

Refuting allegations levelled by the patient's family and friends, the hospital officials said there were no discussions with the patient party to either deposit property deed or ornaments or fixed deposit certificate. "We had asked the patient party to issue a check and give an undertaking on a piece of paper that the dues were being paid in this manner. The person from the family who came to settle the bill prior to the patient's discharge voluntarily offered the FD certificate as security which we accepted," the hospital official said.

Suresh Ramasubban, chief of critical care unit, also outlined the treatment to the accident victim to both explain the billed amount and counter the charge of improper treatment. "The patient had severe injuries and after assessment and a CT scan, we found out that he had internal bleeding in the abdominal area. There was a puncture in the liver and a rupture in one of the kidneys. There was also bleeding in the lungs area. Ray had suffered rib fractures and accumulation of fluid in the lungs. On February 16 evening, we conducted Angio Embolization on the patient to stop bleeding from a tear in the kidney and injury to the liver, and put on ventilation due to respiratory distress. He was also administered a lot of antibiotics. He underwent multiple scans later to track the progress," Ramasubban reasoned.

On delay in discharging the patient that could have led to his death within hours of being admitted at SSKM, the doctor said treatment to the patient had not been discontinued at any point and had continued till the patient was put on ventilator in the ITU at SSKM. "We transported the patient in an ambulance that had a ventilator. Two doctors accompanied him to SSKM. Our oxygen supply was used to then transfer the patient from the ambulance to the bed. Our doctors ensured that the ventilation rate in SSKM was in sync with what was being administered," Ramasubban said.

According to him, the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) test on Ray had revealed a 45% predicted mortality in the next 28 days or more than a 50% chance to survive at a medical board formed before his discharge. "We had told the family his condition was stabilizing. The only system that was not responding was the brain. It was so agitated that we had to keep him restrained. It could have been due to nicotine addiction withdrawal. The other organs were okay. Blood pressure, pulse and creatinine levels were good," Ramasubban added.