Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oakland County (MI) Sues Blue Cross Blue Shield

From John Curry, May 21, 2008
...a Michigan they wouldn't do that, would they?
Oakland County Sues Blue Cross Blue Shield
Hidden "access fees" have cost it millions
Friday May 16th, 2008
Chad Halcom
Crain's Detroit Business
Oakland County is suing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to recover potentially millions of dollars in fees it says were hidden, in a case that could set a precedent for other self-insured employers.

The county brought the lawsuit in Oakland County Circuit Court in October, claiming it only became aware of the so-called “access fees” that have been part of Blues administrative services contracts since the 1990s and has been secretly billed more than $10 million dating to 2001.

“They were taking in all our patient and administrative charges and adding in a factor to that charge for things like its network maintenance and billing us and not explaining that to us,” said Keith Lerminiaux, Oakland County deputy corporation counsel, who is working on the case. William Horton, partner in Troy-based Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton P.C., is co-counsel.

Last week, Oakland County Circuit Judge Daniel O'Brien ruled the company must pay sanctions and comply with a document request by Wednesday in a lawsuit alleging it has billed Oakland County for millions of dollars in hidden “access fees.”

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