Consumer Protection

Scripps Health Uninsured Patients

Result: Settlement valued at $73 million
Year: 2008

R.M. Galicia v. Franklin; Franklin v. Scripps Health

Lieff Cabraser serves as Lead Class Counsel in a certified class action lawsuit on behalf of 60,750 uninsured patients who alleged that the Scripps Health hospital system imposed excessive fees and charges for medical treatment.

The class action originated in July 2006, when uninsured patient Phillip Franklin filed a class action cross-complaint against Scripps Health after Scripps sued Mr. Franklin through a collection agency. Mr. Franklin alleged that he, like all other uninsured patients of Scripps Health, was charged unreasonable and unconscionable rates for his medical treatment.

In June 2008, the Court granted final approval to a settlement of the action which includes refunds or discounts of 35% off of medical bills, collectively worth $73 million. The settlement also requires Scripps Health to modify its pricing and collections practices by:

  1. following an Uninsured Patient Discount Policy, which includes automatic discounts from billed charges for Hospital Services;
  2. following a Charity Care Policy, which provides uninsured patients who meet certain income tests with discounts on Health Services up to 100% free care, and provides for charity discounts under other special circumstances;
  3. informing uninsured patients about the availability and terms of the above financial assistance policies; and
  4. restricting certain collections practices and actively monitoring outside collection agents. The prospective future discounts are worth many millions more in savings to uninsureds over the next four years.