Clive Riddle, August 24, 2012
The Los Angeles Times recently ran a feature story, State suing doctor over billing tactics regarding “Jeannette Martello's aggressive tactics to collect fees from emergency room patients — including lawsuits and taking out liens on their homes — prompt unprecedented court case by state officials. “
The article notes that “the state's lawsuit against Martello, however, is the first of its kind, according to Marta Green, California Department of Managed Health Care spokeswoman. State officials allege in court papers that Martello collected or attempted to collect more from patients than insurance companies paid, a practice known as balance billing.”
The story about Doctor Martello’s very unique, aggressive tactics to pursue balance bills for contracted patients first broke months ago in MCOL affiliated Payers & Providers. The Payers & Providers weekly California Edition reported on her activities, and then released a twelve page white paper, The Many Stories Of One Highly Litigious Physician, with the sub-heading: “Surgeon Treats Patients at Southern California ERs – Then Sues Them” that details account of her 46 small claims and 23 superior court claims filed against her ER patients during the past several years, and the impact upon a number of the patients and their families.
The Times article cites Payers & Providers Publisher Ron Shinkman: “Ron Shinkman, who wrote about Martello and her tactics in the trade publication Payers & Providers, said he had never seen a more litigious doctor in 19 years of healthcare reporting.”