Two people involved in non-related car accidents from April and May of last year received shocking medical bills after being treated at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida. The medical center, owned by HCA Holdings, charged both of these patients an absurd amount of money, completely draining their Florida Personal Injury Protection benefits and leaving the patients stuck with enormous medical bills. This allegation is noted in a civil suit filed on behalf of two South Florida women.
The patients were charged approximately $18,000 for emergency room radiological services, which essentially were four sets of images; a CT scan of their spine and brain and X-Rays of their lumbar and thoracic spine. To put the overcharging in perspective, Medicare only pays $465 for the same emergency room radiological services, an incredible 3800% markup from Medicare reimbursement.
These enormous medical bills have now resulted in a class action law suit filed against HCA Holdings, the holding company that owns JFK Medical Center, and local hospitals Brandon Regional Hospital, Memorial Hospital and Town and Country Hospital, St. Petersburg General Hospital, and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. The company owns a total of 80 hospitals.
The lawsuit was filed by Theodore J. Leopold, an attorney with the Cohen, Milstein, Sellers, & Toll law firm of Palm Beach Gardens, alleges that HCA hospitals ridiculously overcharge the patients who have PIP coverage and the insurance companies that cover it, maxing out the coverage and leaving them with enormous medical bills that they have to pay out of their pocket.
The 38-page lawsuit was filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court and claims that their two clients, two women treated at JFK Medical Center, “were victims of unreasonable, unconscionable, and unlawful pricing and billing standards.” The lawsuit seeks to reimburse their clients for “excessive and artificially inflated medical bills for emergency radiological services,” and states that “Florida HCA hospitals and emergency facilities charge well in excess of ‘reasonable amount’ for radiological services provided to PIP-covered patients.” The suit is also requesting that the court stop HCA from charging those fees and cease all attempts to collect on the bills.
In an article published in the Tampa Tribune, Mr. Leopold was quoted on the lawsuit, “We estimate overcharges, or up-charges can be from 400 to 700 percent, and the patient has no money left over for medical care.”
WHAT IS FLORIDA PIP COVERAGE, AND HOW DOES IT HELP?
If you are a motorist in Florida, you are required to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection insurance. This so that in the event of an automobile accident, all expenses are paid for despite whom was responsible for the accident. The PIP covers 80 percent of medical expenses resulting from the wreck, leaving the remaining 20 percent to be paid by the patients.
When HCA Holdings is charging exorbitant amounts of money for emergency medical care, it leaves the patients to pay 20 percent of the remaining inflated medical bill. It also causes the PIP coverage to be used up prematurely, leaving the rest of the medical costs to be paid for out of pocket by the patient.
CONTACT PINELLAS COUNTY PIP ATTORNEYS DOLMAN LAW GROUP
If you, a loved one, or someone you know has been charged exorbitant medical fees and are facing financial hardship due to medical expenses, contact the aggressive PIP attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. We will make sure that you have been treated properly and appropriately by the emergency medical provider. Call 727-451-6900 or contact us via our online contact form today for a free and confidential consultation on your case.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765