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IT raid exposes Bengaluru doctor-lab ‘referral commission’ nexus; 35% cut for MRI

In Some Cases, Referral Fees Were Paid To Doctors By Cheque. The Payments Were Disguised And Shown In Books As Professional Fees.

By : Deepak Mahato | Updated on: 03 Dec 2017, 10:50:29 PM
According to an official of the Income Tax department, the commission varied from lab to lab.


Income Tax (IT) department raids on a few Bengaluru-based doctors and diagnostic centres on Saturday seem to have blown the lid off an alleged doctors-diagnostic centre commission nexus.

Sleuths of IT department carried out raids on five medical centre chains and two IVF clinics. 

According to an official of the Income Tax department, the commission varied from lab to lab.

“The referral commission for doctors varied but the commission for doctors was found to be around 35 per cent on an average for an MRI test and 20 per cent in case of CT scan or any other laboratory test,” added the IT official.

The Income Tax department has seized more than Rs 1.4 crore, jewellery and at least 3.5 kilograms of bullion and a few secret foreign bank accounts with deposits running into crores of rupees. Labs raided have also admitted to previously undisclosed income which so far exceeds Rs 100 crore.

This is how diagnostic centres/labs paid cuts to Doctors

# Commision varies from lab to lab.

# Commission or cuts for doctors is 35 per cent for MRI tests, 20 per cent in case of CT scan or any other lab tests.

# Payments were disguised as marketing expenses.

# Payments or referral fees to doctors were made in four different ways.

# Cash payments were made on fortnightly basis.

# Advance cash paid to the doctors as a kind of imprest cash from which the actual referral fees payable is adjusted.

# In some cases, referral fees were paid to doctors by cheque. The payments were disguised and shown in books as professional fees. 

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Some of the labs employed commission agents. Their job was to distribute money to doctors in envelopes.

# These agents inserted a small chit in envelopes, while giving it to doctors. The chit contained details of a patient referred, doctor's name, tests done, amounts billed against the tests, and 'cuts'/commission amount to be given to the doctor and the date on which the test was done.

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# The doctors are very particular about the amounts. On not getting their "due" they return the envelope. The dispute was later settled with the labs.

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First Published : 02 Dec 2017, 09:35:32 PM