Clarian Health in Indianapolis sued for unreasonable chargemaster rates

Clarian Health hospital system in Indianapolis has been accused of significantly overcharging uninsured patients and patients whose treatments aren't covered by their health insurer according to a lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court on behalf of two plaintiffs, reports the Indianapolis Star.

Clarian doesn't give patients the opportunity to negotiate discounts off the prices listed in the hospital's chargemaster, and those chargemaster prices don't reflect Clarian's actual costs, the lawsuit alleges. One of the plaintiffs received a bill from Clarian for $15,641.64. Clarian would have accepted insurance payments of $7,308.78 (a 53 percent discount) had the plaintiff had insurance coverage, according to the lawsuit. The thrust of the suit is that Clarian's charges are unreasonable, says plaintiff attorney Jerry Garau. "We think the best evidence of reasonable is what they accept from insured patients." The plaintiff attorneys are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit.

Clarian, which provided more than $376 million in free or discounted care in 2009, is "reviewing the complaint and will investigate the allegations," says spokesman Gene Ford.

To learn more:
- read this Indianapolis Star article