A class action lawsuit was filed against the health care provider on behalf of approximately 78,000 uninsured patients treated between June 2001 and September 2006. The lawsuit claimed Catholic Healthcare West charged uninsured patients significantly more for care than patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance companies. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer has approved a final $423 million class action settlement in refunds or reduced bills. Members of the plaintiff class can claim refunds or bill reductions of 35% from prior hospital bills at Catholic Healthcare West hospitals between July 1, 2001 and September 25, 2006. Class members had to be uninsured and have annual household incomes at or below $250,000 to qualify for the refunds or reductions. Catholic Healthcare West is based in San Francisco and operates 43 hospitals in California, Arizona, and Nevada. (Jan-12-07) [SAN FRANCISCO BUSINESS JOURNAL: UNINSURED OVERCHARGED]
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