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San Antonio ER hospital sued for alleged overbilling

A former patient has sued Baptist Emergency Hospital in San Antonio and its owner alleging they fraudulently overcharged for lab work to generate higher reimbursements.

This is not a qui tam case, but rather a state court private action. The Plaintiff accuses Baptist Emergency Hospital at Shavano Park of carrying out a scheme known as “unbundling,” which is when a facility bills separately for some or all tests analyzed as part of a panel rather than billing for the panel.

The Plaintiff visited the hospital in December 2018. Although the hospital accepted his insurance, he received a “laboratory” bill for $4,500 nine months later. Most of the charge was related to a metabolic panel and a liver function test, together consisting of multiple components. The suit alleges that the components were billed individually rather than as a complete panel, resulting in a higher bill.

A “Pricing Transparency Document” posted on the hospital’s website in 2018 showed the cost of a basic metabolic panel as almost $754. Only seven of the eight tests in the panel were performed, the suit says, but Keslar was billed nearly $1,221, according to the suit.

The petition alleges that this same unbundling practice is occurring across all Baptist Emergency Hospital facilities. Plaintiff is seeking certification of a class-action.

Source: San Antonio emergency hospital sued for alleged overbilling

By Wade Emmert

Wade Emmert is a board certified health law attorney with more than 25 years of experience. He is a partner in the Dallas law firm of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, L.L.P. Please contact Wade at (214) 855-3040 or at wemmert@ccsb.com.