On December 14, 2018, Cohen Milstein secured final approval of a $220 million injunctive relief settlement from Florida-based HCA hospitals for patients who were allegedly overcharged for emergency X-rays and CT scans provided after they suffered an automobile accident and covered in part by their mandatory Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
Cohen Milstein's Theodore J. Leopold was lead counsel in this state-wide class action.
On August 18, 2014, Cohen Milstein and co-counsel filed a putative consumer class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, alleging that HCA hospitals, including JFK Medical Center and Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, billed inflated and exorbitant fees for radiology services provided in the emergency room to people involved in automobile accidents and receiving care that is covered by Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. These rates are allegedly 20 to 65 times higher than the rates charged for similar services to non-PIP patients. The suit brings claims for violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Each of the plaintiffs received emergency radiological scans at an HCA hospital following a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiffs allege that rather than being billed a reasonable rate for those services, as required by Florida’s Personal Injury Protection law, they were charged exorbitant, unreasonable amounts. For instance, Plaintiff Herrera was billed $6,404 for a CT of the brain, $5,900 for a CT scan of the spine, and $2,222 for an X-ray of the thoracic spine. By contrast, the South Florida Medicare rates for those services are $163.96, $213.14, and $38, respectively. Plaintiffs further allege that HCA hospitals charged PIP patients rates for emergency radiological services that far exceeded their usual and customary rates for such services. As PIP provides coverage for only $10,000 per accident, Plaintiffs claim the charges for radiological services at HCA hospitals depleted the benefits available to PIP-patients, thereby making it exceedingly difficult for them to obtain additional care without paying out-of-pocket. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief requiring that HCA hospitals and HCA Management Services, LP change their policies to charge PIP-patients no more than reasonable prices that are consistent with the rates HCA hospitals bill non PIP-patients.
The case is Herrera, et al. v. JFK Medical Center LP et al., Case No. 8:14-cv-02327-JSM-TBM, in the United State District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division.