CHICAGO – A class action lawsuit has accused NorthShore University Health System of incorrectly filing liens against people instead of properly billing their insurance and Medicare.
Anna Kioutas filed the suit on May 22 in Cook County Circuit Court. She is represented by attorneys Larry D. Drury and John H. Alexander, of Chicago.
Kioutas sued on behalf of herself and thousands of others in her situation, which consists of anyone whom NorthShore or its affiliates treated from 2009 to the date of the filing. More specifically, the class action also included those who were injured in third-party liability accidents, for which NorthShore allegedly refused to bill Medicare and the class’ supplemental insurance providers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield. Instead, NorthShore allegedly put liens with “third-party tortfeasor(s) and/or their liability insurance carriers,” according to the lawsuit.
Kioutas specifically filed the lawsuit for alleged violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, third-party beneficiary, intentional interference with contractual relationship. The plaintiffs have requested compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an injunction, attorney fees and court costs.
Kioutas, who lives in Cook County, said she was in an accident on Nov. 18, 2016, and received treatment at NorthShore in Skokie. Her hospital bill was $2,958. During that time, her insurance provider was Medicare and a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare supplemental policy. Kioutas said NorthShore was an in-network provider for her insurance coverage.
At the same time, NorthShore had a policy that said treatment for patients who were in accidents that included a third-party liability would not get billed to Medicare or the Medicare supplemental insurance - in this case, Blue Cross Blue Shield - but instead would get billed to the provider of the third party or their own liability insurance carrier. The actual patient could also receive the lien.
After her accident, Kioutas filed a claim against the driver of the other car, who was covered by State Farm. After her stay at NorthShore, the hospital sent a lien of $2,958. Her third-party liability claims reached $13,518, the lawsuit said. Kioutas asked NorthShore to release the lien and bill Medicare instead. NorthShore allegedly refused to respond and Kioutas filed suit, the complaint said.