Fri, Jul 02, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Hospital fined for overcharging its medical staff

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital's Linkou Branch was fined more than NT$100 million (US$3 million) yesterday for overcharging doctors on their National Health Insurance premiums.

The Bureau of National Health Insurance yesterday announced the fine and said it would demand the hospital's Linkou Branch return the excess premium to its medical staff.

The bureau opened an investigation into the case after a doctor at the hospital reported the practice to the bureau.

The bureau said Chang Gung charged each doctor the full insurance premium of about NT$6,000 each month, rather than just 30 percent of the amount, about NT$1,800, that a doctor would normally pay as a hospital employee.

The hospital had argued that the practice was justifiable because the doctors were in partnership with the hospital owners, and therefore should be responsible for the full premium amount.

However, the bureau said that its investigation found that the hospital and its doctors had a management-employee relationship — rather than a partnership — so the hospital should not ask its doctors the full premium.

Bureau director Cheng Shou-hsia (鄭守夏) said that between 500 and 600 Chang Gung doctors and dependents were affected in the case.

“If we count the number of people affected in other branches of Chang Gung hospital, [the number] could be upwards of 1,000 or even 1,500,” he said.

The director said that according to the National Health Insurance Act (全民健康保險法), aside from returning the over-charged amount to its doctors, the hospital would face a fine of two times the total amount of the over-charges.

As of press time, Chang Gung has not provided a response to the bureau's decision.

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