State Farm Insurance Cos., Bloomington, Ill., has filed a lawsuit accusing Adventist Health System, Winter Park, Fla., of grossly inflating the cost of treating car-accident victims at its 17 Florida hospitals. The lawsuit, filed in state Circuit Court in Orlando, Fla., claims that the hospitals have charged State Farm between 225% and 1,000% more than average Medicare prices when treating accident victims. It also contends that Adventist, which operates 36 hospitals in 10 states, refuses to tell State Farm how much it charges other insurers for the same services. State Farm, Florida's largest auto insurance company, is seeking a judicial order to clarify its "rights and responsibilities on paying insurance benefits" and to offer a formula for determining payment rates for medical treatments. "We simply want the court tell us what's a reasonable amount for us to be paying," said State Farm spokesman Chris Neal. The company is not seeking damages. An Adventist spokesman said he couldn't comment because the hospital chain still was reviewing the lawsuit. The lawsuit comes as Florida lawmakers are considering whether to renew or extend the state's no-fault auto-insurance law, which is set to expire after 35 years on Oct. 1; the law currently requires drivers to carry $10,000 in personal-injury coverage. -- by Laura B. Benko
Auto insurer sues Fla. system
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