When a Denver resident had spinal fusion surgery in 2014 after a bad car wreck, she believed that her health insurance would pay her medical bills. Three years later, the nonprofit St. Anthony North Health Campus sued her for $229,112.13. Why? Many Denver based employers are refusing to pay the full amount of medical bills due to perceived price gouging by hospitals. Now, these disputes are entering into the courts and juries are realizing the discrepancies in medical billing.
An Adams County jury sided with the Denver resident and found that the hospital bills were unreasonable and that there was extreme profiteering going on. They determined that this predatory pricing was unfair and the costs had no relationship to the cost of the service provided. St. Anthony’s legal team disagreed and believed that the charges were fair and reasonable and in the bottom 25% for the type of procedure she underwent.
What if You Don’t Have Insurance?
If you don’t have insurance, price gouging can be even worse. According to CBS News, hospitals charge uninsured patients 2-4x what they would charge an insurance company for the same treatment. When uninsured patients can’t pay these exorbitant medical bills, they are often forced to file for bankruptcy.
For example, when Carlos Ferlini fell off a roof while on the job, he was rushed to a non-profit Catholic hospital in California where he spent the next 18 days recovering. When he got his bill, it was for $246,000 – 5x the amount that the hospital would’ve accepted as full payment from an insurance company.
The majority of Americans are affected by this price gouging – most notably the working middle class. These individuals are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but not rich enough to pay these outrageous medical bills without going bankrupt. Hospitals give huge discounts to insurance companies for the patients they cover, as much as 75 percent off. Government programs like Medicare and Medicaid pay these hospitals even less for the same treatment. Only uninsured patients are charged the hospital’s full price.
An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident and you believe that you are the victim of price gouging, an experienced attorney can help. Your attorney may be able to investigate to see if you are the victim of price gouging. Through skillful negotiation, your attorney may be able to have these bills reduced. If someone else is to blame for your accident, your attorney can negotiate with their insurance company to make sure you are compensated fully for your injuries. Without an attorney on your side, you may not receive the money you need to fully recover.
Contact Gregory A. Gold of the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303) 694-4653. We can help you during this difficult time. Call today!