St. John's Health System and Cox Health, both in Springfield, Mo., were named in a class-action lawsuit over their billing of uninsured patients. In a joint statement, executives of the two systems said the suits "are unwarranted and will require unnecessary hospital expense in a climate of already tight healthcare dollars." Scott Bethune, a Kansas City, Mo., attorney identified in a local newspaper article as representing the plaintiffs, could not be reached for comment. The suit questions the tax-exempt status of the hospitals, according to the hospitals' statement. It mirrors 47 suits currently in federal courts across the country that were filed by a coalition of plaintiffs attorneys led by Richard Scruggs of Oxford, Miss. One of the Scruggs suits was dismissed last week by a federal district court judge. St. John's, part of Sisters of Mercy Health System-St. Louis, operates six hospitals in Missouri and Arkansas. Cox Health operates three hospitals, including two in Springfield. -- by Paul Barr
Springfield, Mo., hospitals sued over uninsured
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