SFHHA President Responds to ‘Frivolous Lawsuit’ Initiative, Claims It Distracts from Mission

April 30, 2004

Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association (SFHHA), offered a response on Friday regarding Consejo de Latinos Unidos’ ‘Frivolous Lawsuit’ Initiative; ‘Relevant Questions Remain Unanswered’

“It is a shame K.B. Forbes, leader of Consejo de Latinos Unidos, has decided to clog up our legal system with frivolous lawsuits instead of encouraging patients to enter into a meaningful dialogue with hospital administrators about their concerns.

“On a daily basis, hospitals provide discounts to those patients willing to provide them with the information needed to determine eligibility. Some hospitals have formal policies, and others handle it on a case-by-case basis. But the result is the same: uninsured patients receive quality healthcare and receive discounted rates for that care.

“Contrary to what continues to be implied, uninsured patients do not pay more for care than those patients with insurance. In Florida, hospitals collect less than 10 percent of charges from uninsured patients, and in South Florida, many hospitals collect less than that. In fact, South Florida hospitals tended to more than 55,000 cases, during a one-year period, without receiving any compensation for them.

“On January 29, 2004, we issued a statement that posed some important and relevant questions about K.B. Forbes’ and Consejo de Latinos Unidos’ real agenda. Still today, those questions remain unanswered. Mr. Forbes and Consejo de Latinos Unidos cannot be considered credible advocates for the uninsured until they fully answer the questions posed in our January 29, 2004 statement. We believe if those questions are answered completely and truthfully, we will find the real agenda Mr. Forbes is advocating.

* Who is funding the six-figure advertising campaigns the organization is promoting?

* Who is funding Mr. Forbes’ cross-country travel?

* Who is paying the lawyers to file the lawsuits?

“Special interest groups or frivolous lawsuits should not distract us from our mission – assuring every American has access to affordable healthcare coverage.”

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