Patients seek class-action status for lawsuit over billing

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A lawsuit is seeking to stop the University of Kentucky and state Department of Revenue from garnishing people's wages for unpaid medical bills.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Monday that a group of people has asked Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate to grant class action status to the lawsuit. Lexington attorney Doug Richards says he's been contacted by hundreds who feel they've been unfairly treated by UK HealthCare and the state.

The lawsuit says several plaintiffs eligible for Medicaid shouldn't have received bills and later discovered they were being subtracted from their wages. It says Richards estimated the department collected $5,000 from one woman.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton says officials wouldn't comment on the lawsuit. Department spokeswoman Pamela Trautner says the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com