Hospital joins Medicare law suit

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 9, 2004

DEMOPOLIS-Hospitals from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are telling the government to “show them the money”, thanks to this new lawsuit. The Director of Bryan Whitfield W. Memorial Hospital Mike Marshall hopes this lawsuit that includes 77 other hospitals from Alabama seeking back payments for Medicare claims.

The hospitals are seeking over $260 million from the government because of an incorrect formula for payment.Marshall said Alabama has 106 general hospitals of which 78 are included in this suit along with hospitals from Mississippi and Louisiana. This grounds for this suit include proof that the Medicare agency illegally lowered their payments too this hospitals during the fiscal years of 2003 and 2004.

“This lawsuit has been in the works for several months now,” he said, “We even discussed it during the Alabama Hospital Association’s convention.”

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The Alabama Hospital Association is handling the suit because the practice of lowering the payments has been going on for so long, but they can only sue for these two years due to making a complaint to Medicare back in 2002, he said.

Alabama’s hospitals have always been among the country’s lowest paid by the Medicare agency due to this formula. He hopes this lawsuit will help ease the pain of the hospital for money they’ve already lost and help future changes to fix the system.

“We are hoping to receive around $500,000 from this lawsuit,” Marshall said, “We are willing participants in this lawsuit because the money is owned to us.”

This will just further the advancement of the rural hospitals of Alabama and ultimately make all of them better for the residents and the patients alike.

Calls from the Demopolis Times to the other surrounding hospitals in the area were not returned.