Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against UC Med for Failure to Disclose Visitation Fees

Thousands of individuals are likely eligible to be part of the lawsuit, according to the complaint.


Outside UC Medical Center

By Neive Rodriguez

A class action lawsuit filed on February 9 alleges that the University of Chicago Medical Center (UC Med) violated the Fair Patient Billing Act by failing to disclose visitation fees to emergency room patients.

The complaint argues that visitation fees were “effectively concealed” from emergency room patients prior to their visit. Furthermore, the complaint asserts that UChicago Medicine neglected to communicate visitation fees on the website clearly, describing the billing information provided on the web page as “highly abbreviated and unintelligible.” Anyone who was unfairly billed at any one of UChicago Medicine’s hospitals within the statute of limitations is eligible to be covered by the lawsuit; the complaint asserts that the number of individuals eligible to be part of the class action lawsuit is likely in the thousands.

According to the complaint, plaintiff Carl Fisher visited UChicago Medicine emergency rooms seven times between January 2019 and March 2022. After each visit, Fisher found that he was charged visitation fees between $159 to $738 without any prior knowledge of the fee, nor the basis on which the fees were determined. Fisher then visited the emergency room several more times between June and October of 2022, and was charged a visitation fee of over $4,000 per visit. The complaint details how Fisher was “shocked, dismayed, and aggrieved” when he was charged “substantial, significantly increasing, and undisclosed” visitation fees that he had not consented to paying.

The complaint alleges that the Fair Patient Billing Act, which states that “patients, hospitals, and government bodies alike will benefit from clearly articulated standards regarding fair billing and collection practices for all Illinois hospitals”, was violated. The complaint further argues that UChicago Medicine also violated Section Two of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which forbids “misrepresentation” or “suppression…of any material fact…in the conduct of any trade or commerce,” by not disclosing visitation fees.

The first hearing date for the lawsuit is June 9. Neither the plaintiff’s legal team nor UChicago Medicine has responded to a request for comment.