Allina Clinic Buffalo, Ohio (CNN) A Cleveland cancer clinic billed taxpayers $1,200 per patient, but some residents were surprised to find out the price of their health care, according to a CNN investigation.
Allina Clinic is a large family-owned business in the Cleveland suburb of Cuyahoga Falls.
The clinic, which was named for a neighborhood on the north side of the city, was founded in 1962.
The first patient in Allina’s waiting room was a 7-year-old boy who was born with spina bifida, according a press release from the Cleveland Clinic.
A local television station reported the cost of the initial six months at $1.50 per month.
But residents said they had no idea what the cost would be after they were told they had to pay the first month’s bills.
“It was really frustrating.
I thought I would be able to make a living off this, but it’s not really my money,” resident David Riehl told CNN.
“They were charging me $1 per month, but they told me I was paying $1 to get a card.
It’s really crazy.
Read more:Cleveland Clinic’s price tag: How did this happen?
Allina’s CEO, Dr. Anthony DeMaria, told CNN he believes his clinic was overcharging residents.
The clinic is not charging any patients for the first 60 days, so we were not overcharging,” he said, adding the clinic is now charging $300 per patient for the full first month.”
We’re paying the first two months of our costs,” DeMaria said.
“The clinic is not charging any patients for the first 60 days, so we were not overcharging,” he said, adding the clinic is now charging $300 per patient for the full first month.
DeMaria said the clinic’s billing practices are transparent and patient-friendly.
“Every patient has a bill and is given a bill for that bill.
That’s how it works, and we do that,” he told CNN in an email.
Read moreThe Clinic’s billing is a common practice in Ohio.
The state’s Office of the Auditor General, which regulates the state’s health insurance exchange, has found that Allina billed some of its patients for more than $1 million in the first half of 2017, according the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
In some cases, patients were not even told the bill would be coming, the newspaper reported.
A woman with the Ohio Health Insurance Exchange was not able to determine how much of the bill she was charged and she did not get an explanation for the $600 per month bill.
The Cleveland Clinic did not respond to CNN’s request for comment about how much the clinic overcharged residents.
But the Clinic’s CEO defended his billing practices, saying the Clinic does not overcharge patients.
“It’s not the way we are paid,” DeMarcus said.
He said he and his staff have been told that it is legal for patients to request to see the bill and the clinic will refund the money if requested.
“If it’s a situation where a patient is really desperate and wants to go to the clinic and they don’t want to pay for the treatment, they don�t have to pay a fee,” DeMarias said.