HOUSTON (AP) — Insurance companies and private hospitals are facing off in Houston over how much to charge patients for “out-of-network” surgeries and procedures.
The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/29EG5Ep ) that at least a dozen lawsuits have been filed in Houston over what insurers allege is an incorrect practice: Private hospitals offer patients lower rates that compete with “in-network” facilities by billing the insurance company more.
In one lawsuit, the insurer Aetna refused to pay for surgeries at the private North Cypress Medical Center over a fee dispute. North Cypress responded by suing Aetna and accusing the company of “blacklisting” the hospital. Then Aetna countersued the hospital. Neither side won in the end.
Such disputes are closely watched in a health care industry still in upheaval.
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com