Illinois Court Approves Certification of Class in Liberty Mutual Class Action Case

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An Illinois Circuit Court has certified a class action case against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company by Illinois medical providers who accuse the company of questionable practices to reduce medical bills and increase profits.

Over the past decade, insurance companies have targeted medical bills as a means to increase profits. Whether called re-pricing or cost containment, insurance companies have used questionable tactics to reduce medical bills by all means possible. These unprecedented attacks on medical bills lead to substantial losses for medical providers and record profits for the insurance companies.

An Illinois Circuit Court has certified a class action case against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company by Illinois medical providers who accuse the company of questionable practices to reduce medical bills and increase profits.

The case is pending in the Third Judicial Circuit , Madison County, Illinois (Cause No. 04-L-1416). According to these medical providers, Liberty Mutual has engaged in a silent Preferred Provider Organization scheme. In a PPO, insurance companies provide financial incentives to encourage patients to seek treatment from the preferred or in-network providers. Financial incentives include, for example, reduced co-payments or greater benefit coverage for seeking treatment from preferred or in-network providers. A "silent PPO" occurs where an insurance company takes PPO discounts from medical providers without financial incentives to steer patients to the preferred or in-network providers. As a result, the medical provider loses revenues without gaining patients, receiving nothing in exchange for the reduced bills.

Brad Lakin, President of The Lakin Law Firm said, "Over the past decade, insurance companies have targeted medical bills as a means to increase profits. Whether called re-pricing or cost containment, insurance companies have used questionable tactics to reduce medical bills by all means possible. These unprecedented attacks on medical bills lead to substantial losses for medical providers and record profits for the insurance companies."

The trial court certified the following class: "All healthcare providers in Illinois whose reimbursement for medical services relating to an Illinois workers' compensation policy issued by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company or Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company was reduced pursuant to a First Health PPO discount from January 1, 1997 through June 20, 2008."

The Court appointed Thomas L. Kaltenbronn, D.C., Coy Chiropractic Health Center, P.C., and Dale Fischer d/b/a Lebanon Chiropractic, P.C. as class representatives and The Lakin Law Firm, P.C. was appointed lead class counsel. The certification of a class is an important step in moving a class action case forward. The Lakin Law Firm, P.C. regularly represents medical providers and consumers in class action litigation.

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