INDIANAPOLIS (CBS) — A lawsuit set to go before the Indiana Supreme Court next month will be anxiously watched by hospital administrators around the nation.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports, the lawsuit accuses the largest hospital group in Indiana – IU Health – of charging uninsured patients more than insured patients for the same treatments.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

Although the actual breach-of-contract claims being sought amount to just a few thousand dollars, the legal stakes are much higher.

Indianapolis trial lawyer Scott Weathers tells the Indianapolis Star he believes a favorable ruling could allow patients to sue for billions of dollars in cases going back as far as a decade.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Hospital Association, which has filed an amicus brief in support of IU Health, says the situation is “pretty concerning” for hospitals, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The Indiana case comes even after a federal law that requires hospitals to give uninsured patients discounts similar to those given to insured ones, the newspaper reported.

The case is set to go before the Indiana State Supreme Court on May 10.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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