Settlement Approved in Scripps Lawsuit Over Bills for Uninsured
On Friday, a San Diego Superior Court judge granted preliminary approval to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by uninsured patients against Scripps Health over improper billing practices, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/2).
The lawsuit, filed in 2006, claims five Scripps hospitals billed uninsured patients an average of 412% higher than Medicare rates.
Plaintiffs also accused Scripps of violating state consumer protection statutes and contract laws.
Under the settlement, uninsured patients who were charged the full prices for medical services at the hospitals since 2002 would be eligible for a 35% discount on their bills.
The discounts could be worth more than $73 million total, according to lawyers in the case (California Healthline, 2/1).
More than 60,000 uninsured patients could receive refunds or discounts on unpaid bills.
Don Stanziano, Scripps spokesperson, said patients who might qualify for settlement benefits should receive a letter from Scripps by March 22.
Kelly Dermody, an attorney in the case, said the discounts and payments could be sent to patients by the fall (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/2).