MCG Health sued Sergeant Braxton Morgan and put a lean on the settlement money to pay for his hospital bill. MCG did not file a claim with his military insurance provider TRICARE.
Like many other public and private insurance companies, TRICARE pays a set amount for medical services often much lower than what the hospital wants.
In the unanimous ruling Justice Robert Benham wrote that the only way for MCG to collect Morgan’s bill was through his military insurance.
Harry Revell, Morgan’s attorney, says the decision by the state’s high court means hospitals like MCG have to honor their contracts with insurance providers even if it means getting paid less.
"MCG, we believe should be likewise held to its contractual obligations to accept what ever the schedule costs are as payment in full."
The ruling upheld a decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Attorneys for MCG Health say they will consider asking the supreme court to take another look at the case.