John Muir Medical Center Reaches Deal in Suit on Hospital Charges
About 53,000 uninsured patients treated at John Muir Medical Center's Walnut Creek or Concord hospitals would be eligible for refunds or discounts on hospital bills under a proposed settlement for a class-action lawsuit alleging that the hospitals overcharged uninsured patients, the Contra Costa Times reports.
The suit maintains that John Muir charged the uninsured high prices and then employed aggressive bill collection practices if the bills were not paid.
Sutter Health and Catholic Healthcare West face similar lawsuits.
Uninsured patients who received care at John Muir's Walnut Creek or Concord Hospitals from March 1, 2002, to May, 21, 2008, are eligible to participate in the settlement, according to plaintiffs' attorney Kelly Dermody of Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein in San Francisco.Â
For uninsured patients whose annual incomes do not exceed $250,000, the settlement would reduce charges by 40% for services at the Walnut Creek facility and by 50% for services at the Concord hospital.
Dermody estimates that as many as 53,000 patients could qualify for the settlement.Â The deal is valued at about $113 million, Dermody said. The agreement is subject to approval from a judge (Kleffman, Contra Costa Times, 9/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.