Inflated hospital bills: AIIMS Patna lodges FIR against Delhi firm’s owner, staff - Hindustan Times
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Inflated hospital bills: AIIMS Patna lodges FIR against Delhi firm’s owner, staff

Feb 02, 2024 03:27 PM IST

The AIIMS has since discontinued services of the firm after having entered into a three-year service contract with them on March 17, 2021

Patna’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has lodged a police complaint against the owners and some employees of a Delhi-based firm, alleging that its employees deployed at billing counters defrauded patients and their families of 3.90 lakh by fudging hospitalisation bills and not depositing the amount in the AIIMS accounts, senior officials said on Friday.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna. (File Photo)
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Patna. (File Photo)

The FIR relates to two incidents. In the first, cash counter clerks of the private firm overcharged 72 patients between October and December last year and swindled 2.26 lakh by tampering with their hospitalisation bills using software tools to edit and inflate them. The second incident is about the siphoning off 1.65 lakh collected from the cash counter of the trauma and emergency department of AIIMS.

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HT broke the news twice on January 16 and January 18, and two days later the AIIMS lodged an FIR at the Phulwarisharif police station.

The FIR, seen by HT, mentions the name of four staff members of the firm – Guddu Kumar, Anand Kumar, Manoj Kumar and Abhishek Shubham.

Guddu is accused of tampering with the hospitalisation bill of 55-year-old Krishna Devi, a resident of Bihar’s Vaishali district who underwent treatment at the cardiology in-patient department of AIIMS between November 14 and 18.

The case of tampering came to light when Devi’s son submitted the hospitalisation bill of 42,035 to AIIMS, seeking reimbursement through an insurance firm.

During verification, it was found that the patient had been charged 2,000 extra, as reflected in the hospital information system (HIS), a software of AIIMS, the FIR said.

A thorough probe subsequently revealed tampering with hospitalisation bills of 72 patients between October and December last year, the FIR said.

Three other staff members, identified as Anand, Manoj and Abhishek, have been named in the FIR for siphoning off 1,64,823 collected on January 6 towards the treatment of patients and not depositing the money in the AIIMS account.

The AIIMS has since discontinued services of the firm after having entered into a three-year service contract with them on March 17, 2021.

“The said service contract was extended till January 15 this year... Considering the fraudulent practices...the AIIMS-Patna administration has decided to not extend the service contract...beyond January 15. We have also lodged a police complaint in this regard,” said Dr Gopal Krushna Pal, executive director-cum-chief executive officer of AIIMS, Patna.

Also Read:AIIMS Patna terminates service of Delhi firm for inflating hospital bills

The police have registered a case under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust in capacity of public servant), 420 (cheating and dishonesty), 467 (forgery of valuable security or authority to make or transfer any valuable security or to receive any money, etc.), and 34 (a criminal act done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The maximum punishment for such offences is life imprisonment, along with a penalty.

“We received a complaint from AIIMS about billing counter clerks resorting to fraudulent practices and not depositing money into the account of the institute. We have registered a case under different sections of the IPC and are investigating it,” said Shafir Alam, station house officer of the Phulwarisharif police station.

The firm did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them via e-mails on January 16 and February 1.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Ruchir writes on health, aviation, power and myriad other issues. An ex-TOI, he has worked both on Desk and in reporting. He over 25 years of broadcast and print journalism experience in Assam, Jharkhand & Bihar.

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