Cigna Sues New Jersey's Roseland Ambulatory Surgery Center for Waiving Patient Costs
The insurer wants Roseland ASC to repay more than $6.6 million, the entire amount the center received for 1,400 claims for which the patients were allegedly not billed their share. Waiving the patient's share of treatment costs is a common practice at out-of-network surgery centers in New Jersey, because it gives patients an incentive to choose out-of-network facilities despite pressure from payors.
"There are a number of facilities and doctors in New Jersey that pursue an out-of-network business model," said Phil Mann, a Cigna spokesman. That strategy is responsible for "driving up claim costs, with significantly higher charges than those billed by in-network doctors and facilities," he said. "The waiver of cost-sharing as a routine business practice is deceptive and fraudulent. Providers who engage in this are driving higher costs for all New Jersey consumers."
According to William J. Maer, a spokesman for ASC owner and anesthesiologist Richard Lipsky, the case was filed in the midst of a settlement negotiation and was done for "strategic purposes." Mr. Maer said the surgery center demanded Cigna pay "overdue and unpaid claims" prior to the lawsuit.
Related Articles on Coding, Billing and Collections:
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