The Arizona Supreme Court declined to review an appeals court ruling that Banner Health in Phoenix had correctly billed seven patients for services and that the charges were not unreasonable. In defending themselves, Medical Savings Insurance Co. and seven patients had claimed that Banner charged them more than 400% of its cost for providing care when it sought full payment from only 2% of its customers and usually received only 34% of its billed charges from patients who received similar treatment.
Banner had sued the seven patients for breach of contract based on the conditions of admission forms signed by the patients. The insurance company maintained that even though Banner had no agreement with the company, it was unfair for Banner to charge them more than it accepts from insured patients.
This is the third time our position has been affirmed, said Bill Byron, a Banner spokesman. Our position has always been that the issue was a misrepresentation by an insurance company to its members that they could deal with Banner Health on a contractual basis when in fact there was no contract. Its unfortunate that some members were adversely affected by that. -- by Cinda Becker
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