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NC hospitals don’t want trials for disputed bills

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A Charlotte man stuck with a $14,000 hospital bill he calls inflated and unreasonable wants North Carolina’s Supreme Court to rule that courts are open to decide fairness.

The state Supreme Court is scheduled Monday to hear Robert Talford’s argument that his hospital should have to prove why it’s reasonable to charge him up to 24 times more than a local pharmacy for medications.

The state’s hospitals want the high court to rule they can collect overdue bills without a trial.

Lawyers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority say of course a pill is cheaper at a street-corner drug store. Hospital lawyers say the difference is that pill’s costs pay for nurses and other staff and to maintain a clean and supervised room 24 hours a day.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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