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Are Hospitals Overcharging Auto Accident Victims To Exhaust Their PIP Benefits?

A Federal Court has agreed to hear a case where several plaintiffs allege a chain of hospitals, HCA Holdings Inc., overcharged patients' personal insurance protection (PIP) at several HCA-run Florida hospitals by charging up to 65 times what Medicare pays. In the appeal, the plaintiffs challenge a Judge's decision which took away the class action and allowed only one of the plaintiffs to go forward with her claims against a single hospital.

Under Florida's No Fault Car Insurance Law, all vehicles who are registered to Florida car owners are required to carry $10,000 in PIP coverage.

Two of the plaintiffs were treated at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida, after automobile accidents in April 2013 and May 2013. Each woman was charged $6,404 for a CT scan of the brain, $5,900 for a CT scan of the spine, and $2,222 for a thoracic spine X-ray, according to the suit. Herrera also underwent a lumbar spine X-ray for $3,359. Those prices were way above the standard customary and reasonable rates under South Florida Medicare of $163.96 for a brain CT scan, $213.14 for a cervical spine CT scan, $38 for a thoracic spine X-ray, and $51 for a lumbar spine X-ray, the complaint says.e

HCA owns and operates approximately 165 hospitals and 115 freestanding surgery centers in 20 states and in London. The lawsuit is limited to the approximately 80 HCA-run medical facilities in Florida. In Northwest Florida, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is a HCA owned hospital.

As the plaintiffs' attorneys said in a press release. "HCA's conduct of overcharging injured individuals who are already suffering needs to be addressed and stopped, and we look forward to helping to do just that."

We hope the court sides with these plaintiffs because we see hospitals over billing our clients in many of our auto accidents cases.

Source: http://www.law360.com/articles/683174/11th-circ-takes-up-pip-overbilling-suit-against-hca

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