Catholic Healthcare West Settlement Opposed
Latino advocacy group Consejo de Latinos Unidos on Thursday said it would oppose a settlement over hospital charges between uninsured patients and Catholic Healthcare West, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The lawsuit alleged that CHW charged uninsured patients four times as much as other patients. On Wednesday, the hospital chain agreed to refund hundreds of millions of dollars to 700,000 uninsured patients in California, Arizona and Nevada.
However, Consejo criticized a provision of the agreement that would exclude people living in certain ZIP codes from receiving discounted or no-cost care. The cost of care would be determined by a patient's income if they live in eligible areas, according to the agreement.
The deal also would exclude workers whose health coverage has been canceled by employers from receiving the discount.
Kelly Dermody, the attorney for patients covered by the settlement, said the exclusions are intended to prevent patients in other states from driving to California to receive discounted or no-cost health care.
CHW spokesperson Tricia Griffin said the exclusions are intended "to ensure that our policy benefits the poor communities we serve."
The settlement is scheduled to be finalized July 12 (Kasler, Sacramento Bee, 6/16).