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California Lawsuit Seeks Fair Emergency Room Billing Practices

Pamela Hope Cincotta and Joyce Kraus are plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit alleging price gouging at 2 different hospital emergency rooms. The class action lawsuit was filed December 3rd by attorney Ron Bochner against the California Emergency Physicians Medical Group (known today as CEP America).

803500_emergency_entrance.jpgFrom the lawsuit “…CEP provides emergency room professional services for many hospitals in California. It separately bills patients for such services. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and theron allege that in so billing patients, CEP has engaged, and continues to engage, in a pattern and practice of charging unfair, unreasonable and inflated prices for medical care to its uninsured patients who are generally the least able to pay these inflated and unreasonable charges. CEP also pursues aggressive collection techniques in charging these unfair, unreasonable, irregular and inflated prices. In doing so, they have attempted to collect, by various means, the unfair, unreasonable and inflated prices for medical care to CEP’s uninsured patients as debts in California.

CEP provides ER services to approximately 55 hospitals in California. The results of this lawsuit would likely affect prices and billing practices at all of those hospitals.

Dr. Wes Curry, president of CEP America, said “We’re confident that our billing practices are proper.”

Technically the lawsuit is a class action complaint for violation of California Unfair Business Practices Act; Consumers Legal Remedies Act; Breach of Contract and Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; Unjust Enrichment.

California has approximately 7 million uninsured residents.