OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) – Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Nov. 16 that CHI Franciscan will provide more than $1.1 million in health care cost relief after allegations of mislabeled charges and inadequate fee disclosures.
According to Ferguson’s office, CHI Franciscan
operates three urgent care facilities in Kitsap County that charge a facility
fee due to their hospital affiliation. These clinics must disclose the fee to
patients through an assortment of methods – identification on the clinic’s
website, signage at the clinic and a notice given to patients before care is
given. Ferguson’s office claimed that CHI
Franciscan failed to meet its obligations and properly disclose the fee.
“Consumers deserve to have all the information they need to
make informed choices, especially in the confusing health care billing process,”
Ferguson said. “When providers don’t live up to their obligations to provide
that information, my office will hold them accountable.”
According to Ferguson’s
2,138 patients were improperly billed. These patients will receive refunds and bill reductions totaling
$107,294. CHI Franciscan will also forgive $995,515 in outstanding patient debt
from July 1, 2014, through Aug. 19.
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Dan