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Predatory Billing

This is a settlement for the Healthcare Fraud & Healthcare Whistleblower Lawsuits lawsuit.

St. Louis, MO: (Mar-18-08) A class action lawsuit was brought against BJC HealthCare, a not-for-profit community benefit health-care provider, by two law firms who represented uninsured patients, alleging that the facility charged higher prices for uninsured patients and used predatory collection practices against patients who couldn't pay. The suit claimed that the patients were victimized and were denied government-required charity care. Sources stated that each BJC Hospital already has an established financial assistance program that aims to provide free or discounted care to all patients who have low or moderate incomes. The suit claimed that in denying these patients care, the hospitals acted in a predatory manner.

Sources revealed that the suit had reached settlement, in which BJC will add a discount policy that provides a reduction in the payments required for patients who do not have insurance and are not eligible for a government program. The settlement agreement stipulated that uninsured patients, who were treated at a BJC hospital since Jan. 1, 1999, and who had paid some or their entire bill, will be given a partial refund. The deal stated that the discounts will be applied retroactively to uninsured patients' bills issued from Jan. 1, 1999, to the present and will be applied prospectively for at least four years. [ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL: BJC, UNINSURED PATIENTS REACH SETTLEMENT]

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Published on Mar-19-08


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