Imagine yourself as a loyal shopper at Wal-Mart—many of us already are. You go in one day, purchase a camera for $25, and then realize that the camera doesn't work; it's defective.
This isn't your problem, so you take it back to Wal-Mart with a receipt and they give you a $25 Wal-Mart store credit gift card in exchange, no questions asked.
You grab a candy bar and a soda with your new gift card—after all, this is your $25, you can do whatever you want with it… How would you feel if Wal-Mart charged you the full $25 for just those 2 items? By overcharging you, you're giving them roughly $22 dollars for nothing in return.
This is overcharging on a very small scale. Unless you were completely distracted and simply swiped your card without hearing the price, any clear-minded individual would refuse to pay, demand a price check, and request a manager if the problem persisted, right?
The Practice of Overcharging for Profit
If you've just spent a 5 days in the hospital recovering from serious injuries from a car crash, the chance of you checking each and every individual charge on your medical bill for authenticity is unlikely. The last thing you want to worry about—and probably the last thing you'd even consider happening—is being wrongly charged for procedures—some of which may have not been administered.
That's exactly what happened to Marisela Herrera and Luz Sanchez—patients at the JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida (owned by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)). Both were enormously overcharged for CT scans of the brain. With the expected price of a CT scan being about $165, the anger and shock expressed by both patients upon seeing the $6404 charge is completely understandable.
These 2 patients are just one of tons who are being wrongly overcharged on a daily basis. A class action lawsuit has recently been file on behalf of patients that have been overcharged for services specifically following car accidents. Hospitals are being accused of exhausting Personal Injury Protection benefits for car accident victims, leaving injured parties unable to pay for future medical care.
Karma Came Around
Because these attentive patients were able to catch the wrongdoing of the JFK Medical Center, they spread the word, got an attorney to assist them in the matter, and eventually brought it to court. Sadly, US District Judge James S. Moody Jr. was hesitant to make any serious legal decisions before examining the case more thoroughly, so he denied the plaintiff's move for class certification and kept it in federal court.
This decision, however, proved unbelievably beneficial to the plaintiff's. After some investigation was done, 2 more victims of emergency room overcharging were added to the case as plaintiffs, and 2 more hospitals—both of which were also owned by HCA—were added to the case as defendants.
This is great news for the plaintiffs, as it shows that more and more people are speaking out about ER overcharging and are trying to make a point.
HCA, being the largest for-profit health care facility in the world, can expect some hefty punitive damages being awarded to the plaintiffs for this wrongdoing in the event that they are found guilty of said accusations.
For more information on healthcare negligence or wrongdoings, bad faith insurance practices, or for general information on personal injury, visit our website at www.dolmanlaw.com.
If you can't find the answer you're looking for, don't hesitate to contact our experienced attorneys today to receive a free consultation and case evaluation. Should you decide to work with us, we won't collect any litigation fees unless you receive the settlement you deserve. You've got nothing to lose, so contact us today!
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33756 727-451-6900Practice Area: Personal Injury Protection