LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The national health law firm of Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, Inc. today filed a class action complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court (Case No. BC360235 (CCW)), seeking to expand protection of hospitals statewide from the practice by Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross Life and Health, and their parent company, Wellpoint, Inc., of retroactively rescinding insurance policy coverage for numerous patients after the health care services have been provided by the hospitals. The complaint explains that California law prohibits Blue Cross from retroactively denying payment after the services have been provided in good faith.
The class action complaint comes on the heels of the California Department of Managed Health Care’s $200,000 fine recently levied against Blue Cross in response to a case of coverage for a patient that was improperly rescinded. This class action complaint also follows lawsuits that were filed by Hooper, Lundy & Bookman in May of this year, on behalf of other hospitals challenging these types of retroactive policy rescissions.
“Hospitals are not opposed to health plans checking applications for accuracy,” said Daron Tooch, one of the lead attorneys in the case. “But health plans should check applications prior to the hospital performing health care services.”
Blue Cross has been the subject of dozens of lawsuits by patients alleging that Blue Cross routinely looks for after-the-fact reasons to cancel policies by reviewing previously approved applications. The rescissions, however, directly impact the hospitals, because they are not being paid for their services, and instead are being directed by Blue Cross to collect from the patients.
“The entire health care system is strained when insurers do not pay valid claims,” said Glenn Solomon, who filed the complaint with Mr. Tooch. “It not only hurts the patients and weakens the providers, but also taxes limited public resources, because patients become unable to get insurance elsewhere, and have to default to government programs like Medicaid.”
About Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, Inc.: Hooper, Lundy & Bookman’s litigation lawyers are regularly engaged in complex litigation involving hospitals and health systems, as well as other health care providers. The firm’s litigation department regularly assists provider clients with litigation, arbitration and mediation services that have resulted in numerous favorable judgments and new case law. With clients in 47 states and offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, the firm is the largest law firm in the country dedicated solely to the representation of health care providers. For more information, visit the firm’s website at www.health-law.com.