Class action claims medical centers overcharged for X-rays

Alejandro de los Rios Apr. 23, 2010, 3:20am

Centola, III

A class action suit filed April 20 in Orleans Parish District Court alleges that a group of Louisiana medical centers have been overcharging patients for the handling and copying of their medical records since 2001.

Filed by New Orleans attorney Lawrence Centola III on behalf of a group of patients, the suit names three Ochsner medical clinics located in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes and Tenet Health System Inc. in St. Tammany Parish. It also names Velfile LLC and MTT Enterprises LLC, which "provide retrieval and reproduction services" to the medical clinics.

The suit alleges that Velfile and MTT Enterprises, working with the Ochsner clinics and Tenet Health System, charged a "twenty dollar X-Ray Retrieval Fee regardless of whether or not there were any X-rays taken of the Patient and/or regardless of whether or not the requested records contain X-rays" even though they "statutorily are allowed to charge only the fifteen dollar Paper Medical Record Handling Fee."

Citing "Act No. 839 of the 2001 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature amended R.S. 40:1299.96(A)(2)(b)" the suit alleges that the defendants committed acts of negligence, fraud, breach of contract, conspiracy to defraud, unjust enrichment and violatied the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA) by overcharging patients for reproduction and retrieval of their medical records.

The suit claims that "all defendants herein are liable to Putative Class Plaintiffs for five dollars times each time paper medical records were requested and the X-Ray Handling Fee was charged."

Orleans Parish Case 2010-03984

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