Our Firm sponsored a legal writing contest on the topic of the disparity in medical bills for the uninsured vs. the insured. Here is the winning entry following the question.
Your client is a 25 year old female waitress without health insurance. She falls off of her motorcycle while riding and breaks her femur and has a steel rod and screws inserted to stabilize the fracture. She spends 2 weeks in the hospital and is presented with a $100,000 bill by the hospital. She cannot afford to pay the bill and is being sued by the hospital.
The key issue is reasonableness of the medical bill in light of the fact that the hospital is under a fee services contract with three major health insurers and the fee contract specifies that the hospital agrees to only charge $35,000 to heath insured consumers for the same procedure your client had. What legal arguments can you make on your clients behalf to reduce the amount of the debt your client owes? Bankruptcy is not an option.