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Sutter Health settles suit over anesthesia billing

Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2013
A major California hospital chain, Sutter Health, agreed to pay $46 million and disclose more pricing information to consumers to resolve a whistle-blower complaint alleging false and misleading charges for anesthesia. Sutter Health, which runs 24 acute-care hospitals in Northern California, said it reached the settlement Monday just prior to a trial starting this month over the allegations that it added thousands of dollars for "Code 37x" anesthesia charges that were already covered by other billing for the hospital operating room. Nationwide, federal officials and consumer advocates have been putting pressure on hospitals to explain their high prices, while many employers have been demanding greater price transparency in an attempt to hold down costs.