Jacksonville hospital accused of overcharging patients

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local hospital is accused of overcharging patients by thousands of dollars.
A class-action lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court, alleges several hospitals, including Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, are overcharging patients brought in after car accidents.
The hospitals named in the lawsuit are owned by Hospital Corporation of America. Along with Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, it names JFK Medical Center and North Florida Regional Medical Center.

Attorney Ted Leopold told Action News anyone taken to the hospitals after a car accident should make sure to check their bill.
"Make sure that they are being charged the customary and reasonable rate for the community," he said. "Not the HCA upcharge which is thousands of dollars more."
The lawsuit refers to personal injury protection, which is insurance coverage required for Florida drivers. It claims, by law, hospitals treating patients with personal injury protection may charge the insurer and patient only a "reasonable amount."
Leopold said that is not happening at the HCA hospitals mentioned in the lawsuit.
"If an individual has a CT scan of the neck, the normal customary charge for that scan is a couple hundred dollars," he said. "Yet, if it is a personal injury protection benefit patient, the HCA hospitals will charge 3, 4, 5,000 dollars for that one X-ray."
Action News contacted Memorial Hospital for comment.
A spokesperson said, "The allegations are unfounded and we intend to defend ourselves vigorously."
If a judge agrees with the claims in the lawsuit, it will impact anyone who has gone to the hospitals' emergency rooms for personal injury protection treatment from a car accident.