MU Health Care facing lawsuit claiming it overcharged patients

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COLUMBIA - MU Health Care is facing a lawsuit for the second time in just over a week.

The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia filed a class action lawsuit against MU Health Care, University Hospital and University Physicians Wednesday. The lawsuit alleges the hospital overcharged patients without health insurance. 

The lawsuit claims the health care system didn't consistently apply it's "Automatic No Health Insurance Reduction" to patients without health insurance.

Court documents show show the health system's "Automatic No Health Insurance Reduction" states that patients without health insurance will automatically receive a 60 percent discount on University Hospital charges and a 35 percent discount from University Physicians charges. 

The lawsuit states an example would be "charging an uninsured patient $400 for the exact same x-ray for which the hospital charges an insured's health insurance company $200." 

MU Health's spokesperson Mary Jenkins said, "We believe that the claims in this lawsuit are without merit." 

The law firm said it believes its claim is well-founded. 

"This is not the first time patients without health insurance have been charged more than patients with health insurance," the law firm said. "We are confident there are others and we are confident our allegations have merit."