Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation Billing Practices Litigation
Wolf Popper prosecuted a class action in Texas State Court which charged defendants, Columbia/HCA and certain of its hospitals in Texas, with systematically and routinely over-billing plaintiffs and the Class by improperly submitting false and inaccurate bills to plaintiffs and other Class members. As part of their fraudulent scheme, defendants were charged with regularly submitting bills for phantom medical services that had never been performed on plaintiffs and the Class. In addition, defendants routinely submitted padded bills by exaggerating the seriousness of patients’ illnesses and misrepresenting that more expensive types of treatments had been provided to patients, a billing practice known as "upcoding." Plaintiffs and the Class paid bills to defendants, either directly, or as a "copayment" required by their insurance, which includes private health insurance and Medicare, in reliance on defendants’ false representations that bills submitted were actually incurred, necessary and accurate. As a result, plaintiffs and the Class were alleged to have suffered damages. The action was settled along with similar actions around the country which resulted in, among other things, defendants substantially revamping their billing practices.