Walgreens Customers Allegedly Overcharged for Copies of Medical RecordsAug 13, 2014
Walgreens has allegedly charged customers too much for copies of their medical records. The drug retailer is facing at least one lawsuit alleging that by charging an excessively high fee, they have violated state law.
One lawsuit was filed in Illinois by a man who claims that he was charged a flat fee of $55 for copies of his medical records. It can be expensive to obtain medical records for authorized parties, so state statutes exist to place a cap on these costs. According to the lawsuit, however, Walgreens violated these statutes by overcharging for the records. For this particular case, drug retailers can charge no more than $24.81 for handling, $0.93 per page for the first 25 pages, $0.62 for each page for the following 25 pages and $0.31 for anything exceeding 50 pages.
The suit accuses Walgreens of committing the “common scheme of fraud” by failing to tell customers that it charges extra for copies of medical records. The company is also accused of attempting to conceal the fraud by describing the fees in an unclear, arbitrary way.
Walgreens violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the suit alleges. Walgreens is also allegedly guilty of common law fraud and unjust enrichment.
Walgreens is the largest drug retailer in the United States. There are nearly 9,000 locations in operation as of first-quarter 2014, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
In a separate matter, there have also been reports of Walgreens overcharging for general merchandise. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster found that the store frequently charged more than advertised, according to CBS Boston. “Our findings were disturbing. Investigators from the AG’s office documented overcharges and deceptive prices at nearly every store they visited,” Koster said. He also found that the store's reward cards did not add up reward points correctly. “This level of consumer deception is inexcusable from a corporation as sophisticated as Walgreen’s,” said AG Koster.
Koster's findings were supported by a CBS Boston I-Team investigation. The I-team discovered that certain items marked as clearance still rang up as full cost upon checkout. Outdated sales tags were also discovered.