It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over………………

Reference Based Pricing vendors rejoiced when a jury sided with a patient over an egregious hospital bill (Jury-sides-with-patient-in-hospital-bill-lawsuit/) But plaintiff’s attorneys were singing It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over………..

The hospital tried collecting a balance bill of $229,112.13 but following a six-day trial, a jury awarded the hospital only $766.74. The jury felt the hospital was engaged in price gouging.

“No one ever pays egregious hospital charge master rates” chortled Reference Based Pricing advocates across the country.

The hospital and their attorneys have ended up getting last laugh……………

Several months ago a Colorado court ruled  that the patient’s written promise to pay “all charges” unambiguously refers to the hospital’s chargemaster rates and was sufficiently definite to be enforceable.

“Three separate times before her surgery, the (patient) signed a two page agreement and a two-page patient bill of rights. The agreement provided that (patient) understood that there is no guarantee of reimbursement or payment from any insurance company . . . . I acknowledge full financial responsibility for, and agree to pay, all charges of the Hospital and of physicians rendering services not otherwise paid by my health insurance or other payor. . . . Any remaining charges are due and payable upon receipt of the bill.

The agreement also stated that the patient understood that she was “financially responsible to the Hospital or my physicians for charges not covered or paid” Under the acknowledgment of patient rights and responsibilities, the agreement reiterated, “I agree to accept the consequences if I disregard my rights and responsibilities.”

See case summary here:

All Charges’ Contract Puts Patient On Hook For Billed Balance.” To view the full article, register now. Try for FREE for fourteen dayAlready a subscriber? Click here to login

NOTE: A tactic some patients may consider using to modify these hospital contracts (of adhesion) is described in this article: And The Al Lewis downloadable wallet cards is a resource for patients who want to alter their own hospital contracts.