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The police have launched a forced investigation into an organized broker who is accused of taking commissions from hospitals in exchange for facilitating cataract patients.
We raided the broker's office and a famous ophthalmology clinic in downtown Seoul.
Police believe that the brokers' fees alone will amount to tens of billions of won.
Reporter Seong-Hoon Lee's report will be read first, and then the story will continue.
is a famous ophthalmology clinic in Gangnam, Seoul.
Police investigators pull out of the building with a blue box.
[What data did you get from the raid?]
The police raided 7 places, including one eye clinic and 6 organized broker offices, on charges of violating the Medical Law.
A police investigation revealed that brokers who signed a contract with the hospital took 20-30% of the operation cost over 10 million won as a commission for arranging patients for cataract surgery.
The police are understanding that brokers have received tens of billions of won in commissions from ophthalmology over the past three years.
Cataract is a disease in which the lens in the eye, which acts as a lens, becomes cloudy due to aging.
Brokers took advantage of the fact that they can receive medical insurance benefits for cataract disease if they are found to be suffering from cataract disease.
It is against the medical law to entice patients to seek medical care through a broker.
As soon as the police finish analyzing the confiscated items, they plan to call hospital officials and brokers in turn to investigate.
The police are expanding the investigation after catching the circumstance that there are other hospitals to which patients were introduced through brokers in addition to those hospitals.
(Video editing: Lee Seung-hee, VJ: Lee Jun-young)
Let's talk more with reporter Lee Seong-hoon, who covered this content.
Q. What is the role of a broker?
[Reporter Lee Seong-hoon: In Korea alone, there are 550,000 cataract surgeries a year.
The cost isn't too bad.
Surgery for both eyes with an artificial lens, which is not covered by health insurance, can cost up to 10 million won.
Here, indemnity insurance is guaranteed, so the hospital is trying to attract patients by even mobilizing brokers.
There are even cases where brokers hire tour buses to bring patients, so let's listen to the stories of the insurance company officials.]
[Insurance company officials: Recently, buses were rented out, and planners in the provinces gathered people, so I went up because it was a 2 days 1 night operation. I came, had surgery, slept in Seoul, did one more the next morning, and connected to Seoul tourism…
Q. Could it not be 'Reimbursement of Loss'?
[Reporter Lee Seong-hoon: Cataract surgery insurance claims are increasing rapidly this year.
When it comes to the fact that the medical insurance review is getting more complicated, hospitals are encouraging surgery as a 'last chance'.
However, there are a number of people who believe only brokers or hospitals and do not receive money after undergoing surgery.
If a person who does not need surgery undergoes surgery due to overtreatment, if the insurance company later determines that it is not a cataract, the insurance will not be able to be paid.
Hospitals and brokers make money, and only patients suffer.]
Q. A note on 'broker temptation'
[Reporter Seong-Hoon Lee: First of all, you should not fall for the lure of brokers who will give you surgery on good conditions.
Rather than deciding to have surgery right away because your vision is blurred and your eyes are uncomfortable, it is better to visit at least two or three hospitals and check your condition.
Damage can be prevented by carefully examining whether there are any problems with the insurance claim.]Keywords: