Patient's $229K spine surgery bill to be reviewed by Colorado Supreme Court

Alan Condon -  

The Colorado Supreme Court will hear the appeal of a woman who was billed $229,112 by Westminster-based St. Anthony North Health Campus for a 2014 spine surgery, Colorado Politics reports.

An agreement Lisa Melody French signed prior to surgery outlined there was "no guarantee of reimbursement" from her insurer and that she would be liable for "all charges"  if her insurer did not cover the bill, according to the April 20 report.

The hospital estimated that Ms. French would be responsible for $1,337, with insurance covering the rest. 

But the surgery's cost increased significantly because of complications from the procedure.

St. Anthony later sued Ms. French to collect on the bill, but a trial court determined the phrase "all charges" was ambiguous and did not refer to the preset list of charges for the surgery.

The bill was reduced to $767 after a jury found that Ms. French only had to pay the "reasonable value," according to the report.

A court of appeals in May found the term "all charges" to clearly refer to the hospital's billing schedule, or chargemaster, and reinstated the original bill, even though the hospital did not show the document to the patient.

More articles on spine:
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5 high-profile device company court battles: Medtronic, Smith+Nephew & more 

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