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CA suing doctor over billing tactics

Los Angeles Times, August 20, 2012

When Bill Buck accidentally cut off the tip of his finger at his Duarte cabinet workshop two years ago, he headed to Huntington Memorial Hospital's emergency room. He assumed his insurance company would sort out the $12,630 bill from the plastic surgeon, Jeannette Martello. But Martello wasn't satisfied with the $3,500 insurance reimbursement, so she returned the check and filed a lawsuit against Buck, his wife and his business for the full amount. Martello's use of aggressive tactics prompted an unprecedented court case by state health officials and a judge's order for Martello to cease the practices. The state's lawsuit against Martello, however, is the first of its kind, according to Marta Green, California Department of Managed Health Care spokeswoman.