Walgreens Allegedly Overcharged for Medical Records, Violated State Laws

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Walgreens allegedly violated state laws by overcharging for copies of medical records. The company is facing at least one lawsuit for overpriced records, where the man alleges he was charged a flat fee of $55.

Walgreens also faced a pricing lawsuit over the cost of retail items, according to a CCHeadliner report. The suit was brought by Attorney General (AG) Chris Koster, who alleged false, misleading and deceptive retail pricing at one of the store locations in Missouri. Allegedly, customers were routinely overcharged as part of the scheme.

The suit was settled, with Walgreens agreeing to have its stores monitored for three years by an independent auditor until June 2017. The auditor is to be approved by the AG’s Office and paid by Walgreens. The terms of the settlement require at least 25 percent of the firm’s stores in Missouri to be audited every quarter. A minimum of 100 items in each store must be verified to determine if the shelf price is the same as what the customer is being charged at the register. A store must achieve a 98 percent accuracy rate to pass the audits. Stores that fail will be audited the following month. A second failure will result in monthly audits until the store reaches accuracy for three consecutive months. Every store that fails its first audit will cost Walgreens $1,500; a second failed inspection will cost $3,000 and any beyond that will cost $5,000.

Under a Consumer Vigilance Award program, consumers will be compensated for items that are overcharged.
State law puts a cap on the maximum amount a company is allowed to charge, the suit alleges. In this case of medical records, the legal limit is $24.81 in handling charges, $0.93 per page for the first 25 pages, $0.62 per page for the next 25 pages and $0.31 for any more than 50 pages. By intentionally violated these limits, Walgreens perpetrated the “common scheme of fraud” and violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices. Walgreens allegedly committed common fraud law and unjust enrichment; the company is also accused of trying to cover-up the scheme by describing fees in an ambiguous, unclear way.