Indiana Supreme Court won’t take case over medical bills

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The Indiana Supreme Court has declined to take a case involving a man who was seriously injured in a crash and amassed over $625,000 in medical bills.

The high court's ruling leaves in place a trial court and state appeals court decision that ruled Parkview Hospital of Fort Wayne will have to release information about how it charges and offers discounts to insured patients, The Journal Gazette reported.

Thomas Frost was taken by air to Parkview in October 2013 after being severely injured in a truck-motorcycle crash. He didn't have medical insurance.

Frost is disputing the reasonableness of the charges Parkview has sought under the Indiana Hospital Lien Act.

Parkview officials blocked his request for the information and asked the state Supreme Court to step in. Parkview attorney Ted Storer said in a hearing with the high court last month that discounts are given because patients have paid insurance premiums or an entity gives a medical provider a large amount of patients.

"We don't think a person who is not a member of the club should get the benefits of the club," Storer said.

Their attorneys said Frost's settlement would leave him with 20 percent of the money after paying attorney's fees and medical bills.

A billing expert Frost hired determined the reasonable value of the services Parkview provided was nearly $247,000.

Frost's attorneys argued that the official list of charges for all procedures, services and goods provided by a hospital aren't intended to be paid, but are simply a starting point for negotiation between the insurance company and hospital.

The court decided not to take the case in a 3-2 vote. Chief Justice Loretta Rush and Justices Steven David and Robert Rucker rejected the case, while Justices Mark Massa and Geoffrey Slaughter voted to take it.

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