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Chicago personal injury lawyer COVID-19 testing feesBy: Patrick J. Giese and Eddie Hettel

Timely, accurate health information is a necessity during a global pandemic. People across the country obtain COVID-19 tests for a multitude of reasons that ultimately share a common goal – health and safety. Despite their proactivity, many COVID-19 test patients are being penalized rather than rewarded by healthcare providers.

The New York Times recently reported the astronomical testing fees charged by some healthcare providers. Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan consistently charges patients over $3,000 for a routine nasal swab test. Huntington Hospital on Long Island charges patients up to $2,793 for a drive-through test. One family was shocked to learn that they had accumulated $39,314 in charges for 12 precautionary tests taken before returning to work and school.

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Chicago product liability lawyerBy: Eddie Hettel

A recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States will make it easier for victims of negligence to pursue their claims in the forum of their choosing.

In Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, the Supreme Court considered consolidated cases alleging damages resulting from a defective Ford vehicle. In each case, a state court ruled that it had jurisdiction over Ford Motor Company in a product liability suit resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Ford asked to have both suits dismissed, claiming lack of personal jurisdiction. Ford argued that state courts had jurisdiction only if conduct by the company in the state had led to the plaintiff's claims. Ford argued that such a link existed only if the specific vehicle that was involved in the accident had been designed, manufactured, or sold in the state.

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Using unprecedented numbers of lobbyists, rideshare companies have quietly secured legislation (often authored in their own hand) in 41 states that endangers the safety of drivers and riders.

After spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying state legislatures, Lyft and Uber have been permitted to operate without any genuine oversight or concern for driver and passenger safety.  Astoundingly, their aggressive lobbying tactics have given these companies license to operate in nearly every city in America with total impunity.

Lyft and Uber’s success in slashing or eliminating safety protections for drivers and passengers is unsurprising, however, in light of the army of lobbyists they have deployed to craft legislation in statehouses nationwide.

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Chicago personal injury attorneysBy: Patrick J. Giese and Eddie Hettel

As this recent story from the New York Times documents, American hospitals routinely exploit archaic healthcare lien laws passed early in the 20th century to profit from injured patients. These laws were passed at a time when fewer than 10 percent of Americans had health insurance in an effort to protect then-vulnerable hospitals from the financial dangers attendant to providing care to uninsured patients. A noble goal though it may have been, now, in a time when health insurance is a pervasive and integral part of the American healthcare landscape, these laws only serve to exploit patients who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own. 

Medical care providers nationwide, whose ownership has grown increasingly consolidated, negotiate and execute complex agreements with health insurance companies to provide services at a discounted rate. This practice permits hospitals to enormously overcharge for services knowing that they will accept substantially less as full payment from health insurance companies.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1691905741-1-min.jpgPrivate equity firms are expanding into healthcare at an alarming rate. In the past 10 years, they have purchased more than 4,000 Women’s Health Clinics, and current estimates have the industry owning more than 10% of the United States’ dermatology market. In the past 5 years alone, private equity has invested more than $10 billion in medical practices. And, as they expand into healthcare, they’ve brought their ruthless business tactics with them.

The private equity business model is well-known: buy loads of fledgling businesses for cheap, group them together, frantically cut costs, and sell high to a bigger investment firm. Applying that model to healthcare not only results in substandard care, but it also results in a deprivation of constitutional rights.

I am primarily talking about mandatory arbitration clauses, an industrywide favorite amongst the private equity firms. Private equity attempts to use these clauses to cut business costs by drastically decreasing injured plaintiffs’ ability to receive just compensation from a jury caused by medical negligence.

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