A patient undergoes dialysis, aided by a Fresenius Medical Care AG machine, at a Fortis Healthcare India Ltd. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Fortis Charged Up To 1,700% Mark-Up To Treat Girl Who Died Of Dengue

Fortis Hospital in Gurgaon charged parents of a seven-year-old girl who died of dengue in September up to 1,700 percent mark-up on medical equipment and drugs, the drug pricing regulator said in a notice posted on its website today.

Adya Singh’s death led to a probe against the hospital for overbilling her parents. It began with a tweet claiming that the hospital had overcharged the family, which caught Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda’s attention. A Haryana government panel then found the hospital guilty of “negligence, unethical and unlawful acts”.

The girl’s father, Jayant Singh, later tweeted hospital bills that added up to Rs 18 lakh for a 15-day treatment and included charges for 660 syringes and 2,700 gloves.

The notice issued today by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority in response to an RTI query classified the information given by the hospital into three broad categories: consumables, scheduled and non-scheduled formulations.

For the list of prices, click here

It said the patient was charged over 1,700 percent mark-up on consumables like disposable syringes and intravenous medications. It charged a margin of at least 300 percent on thermometers, catheters, Ryle’s tube and surgical gloves, according to NPPA. Drugs were billed at a mark-up of 900 percent. Some of the overpriced drugs include dotamin, paracetamol, alcoholic swabs, vitamin K, dopamine, glucose and sodium bicarbonate injections.

The notice said that “necessary follow-up action as per the existing law” will be taken by NPPA against the hospital.

The girl’s father had also alleged that the hospital authorities tried to bribe him with Rs 25 lakh, along with a refund of the entire amount used in his daughter’s treatment, to settle the matter, according to an ANI report.

Fortis Healthcare on Nov. 22 denied any medical negligence or overcharging, saying that all standard medical protocols were followed, wire agency PTI reported. The hospital also denied allegations of bribing the parents, the report said.

BloombergQuint’s emails sent late on Dec. 15 were not immediately answered by the hospital. The story will be updated when Fortis replies.