Patients v Conn. Children Med Ctr.
The Connecticut Health Department has cited the hospital for problems that may have contributed to the deaths of three children. The Department ordered it to use an outside consultant to get rid of it's problems. There were significant security problems at the hospital and at least one death was caused by the lapses. Another problem that contributed to a death was lack of communication between a radiologist and the ED. A third death was of a teenager whose heart injury was missed at the ED after a significant auto accident. These are malpractice suits waiting to happen.
Patients v Jacobi Medical Center
This New York City hospital did not tell over 300 women that they had abnormal Pap tests. Most were of low risk but 30 were at high risk for cancer. They have now all been notified of there findings. The State Department of Health is now investigating the hospital and will force them to change their policies. The Executive Director of the hospital was fired because of the snafu. The deputy director of nursing services was also fired.
Applegate v St. Francis Hosp
The patient went to the hospital and signed a standard general consent form. He told the people he was allergic to codeine but was given codeine. He sued for medical battery since it constituted an unconsented to touching. Nice try but wrong. The Courts through the case out since the use of the medicine was not totally unauthorized and the court did not want to extend the battery to cases other than surgery.
Padilla v Greater El Monte Hosp.
Malpractice was implicated in the death of Padilla and her estate was awarded money. The executor sued the attorney for taking too much money for his work. California has statutory percentages of the award that are paid to the attorney in a med mal case. The jury in this case made an error in its calculations but since the case happened past the statute of limitations, the judge could do nothing and let the original amount stand. This forced the attorney to give back the extra money. The executor also got her costs back for the attorney appealing.
v Beth Israel Deaconess
This is a case to be watched. The patient died after obesity surgery which may or may not have been the hospital's fault and the hospital is being sued for $8.5 million. The interesting part is that the People's Republic of Massachusetts has a law that nonprofit hospitals cannot be sued for over $20,000. This was upheld several years ago by the State Supreme Court in a case against a brain damaged individual by Brigham and Woman's Hospital. In this case the hospital advertised for obesity patients and stated they were safe and effective. There truly does not need to be a special law for non profit hospitals since they can purchase insurance like all others. There is also no difference in how a hospital is run between for profit and non profits. The only difference is where the profits go. The Court in the People's Republic state that only the legislature can lift the cap. If they look to their sister state Pennsylvania many years ago their Supreme Court stated that hospitals can purchase insurance and disbanded the charitable immunity idea.
The Governor has asked that the hospitals of the state, the same non profits, to be more aggressive in their collection efforts from the patients who do not pay. This goes against the remainder of the country who want to rein in the nasty hospitals from collecting from the uninsured. He makes the point that uncollectible payments drive up the cost of health care premiums. This is not good for the taxpayers and voters of the state. The state commissioner of heal care policy six months ago was distraught over the liens hospitals were placing on the uninsured homes. This sounds like the Governor wants the non profits to be regular companies that can afford insurance and do not need the $20,000 cap. Top
US v St. Joseph Mercy
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac Michigan has paid $4 million to settle wrongful reciting charges. These included illegal services offered to physicians to practice at the hospital.
NY v Staten Island Univ. Hospital
The hospital has agreed to pay $76.5 million back to the state for settlement of false billing charges of Medicaid patients. The hospital and their Board operated outside clinics over 200 hours a month where the limit is 60 hours a month. The money will be paid over 17 years and will include a significant amount of free care.
US v San Juan IPA
The New Mexico IPA has settled with the FTC the price fixing charges. The 125 member IPA signed a consent agreement that essentially puts it out of business. It can not negotiate for its members and may not refuse to deal with payors. There was no risk sharing nor any integration in the IPA. They did not use a messenger model and were also part of the hospital originally but then broke off on its own. The hospital was not a defendant. The IPA refuted all the charges but signed anyway to not go through the expensive court process.
US v Abington Hosp (Penn)
The hospital paid $4.2 million for remaining deliberately ignorant of false laboratory billings. The hospital also will need to pay an outside agency to check the compliance of the hospital.
US v Mayo Clinic
Mayo has paid the government $6,5 million to settle a fraud case against them. The allegations were that Mayo misspent millions of dollars in federal research grants for over ten years. This was a whistle blower case so the accounting associate got $1.3 million for her reporting of the fraud. She is now working as a teacher even though she has an MBA in Business Law. Top
Lerner v DC
Lerner, a psychologist, was fired after he recommended a conditional release of the person who shot President Reagan. He has sued for retaliatory discharge and has won the first battle. The hospital filed a summary judgment motion in federal court stating they had qualified immunity, the statute of limitations had expired and they had failed to receive notice. The court stated that the attorneys failed to plead these originally and therefore could not plead them now.
Williams v Southeast Alabama Med
A patient sued the hospital because an emergency room physician showed an HIV test to someone seated with the plaintiff. The ED physician was an independent contractor and therefore the hospital was not vicariously liable. Summary judgment for the hospital holds.
Tremblay v Del. County
Dr. Tremblay was terminated from the medical staff of the institution. He was given no due process or hearing. The court ruled that the physician had a property right in his appointment to the staff and that due process of the bylaws needed to be followed. The summary judgment motion of the institution was dismissed. To trial.
Morris v Emory Clinic
Dr. Morris was fired from the med school clinic and he claimed sexual and age discrimination. The problem was he could offer no proof of the charges and summary judgment for the clinic held. Top
Giannoukos v Harp
The doctor failed to file a required report to the state board. She then signed an agreement to that effect. The physician requested that no report be made to the NPDB but the state decided it was reportable and did report. She appealed the State Attorney General decision and lost since it was a reportable offense and she could always petition the Bank not to publish the order. Top
Physicians v HMOs
The Florida Court of Appeals agreed that the physicians can sue the HMOs for their slow or reduced payments. The case stems from an Westside EKG Associates suing multiple HMOs for not paying within the required 45 days. The lower court said there could be no suit since there could be no private right of action against HMOs. The appeals court overturned that decision and immediately the court asked the state supreme court to review the decision. The HMOs state that this decision to allow them to be sued could raise healthcare prices to all. What they don't say is it could have been avoided except for their overt actions of flaunting the law. Top
Humana v IPA
Humana Health has filed law suits against the IPA that recently filed suits against it. The original suits were to force Humana to continue to pay on a per patient per month basis. The new suits are antitrust for the IPAs not wanting to continue to contract with Humana. The IPA told their member that they recommend no signing individual contracts with Humana. The HMO is using scare tactics to pressure the patients to pressure their physicians to sign contracts. If the physicians don't sign the HMO has stated the patients will be reassigned like chattel to other providers and that Humana will reconsider their Medicare HMO in the county.
Governor Bredesen of Tennessee is again suing Judge Haynes for his ruling on TennCare. If the courts rule in his favor 97,000 people will remain on the TennCare rolls. If the court rules against the Governor, the people will be cut. The court has ruled in the Governor's favor in the past. The question is if rights are violated when the 320,000 people now scheduled to be cut from the rolls are cut. The panel of judges stated they will rule this week. Top
US v Mikos
Dr. Ronald Mikos, a podiatrist, was convicted earlier of first degree murder for the killing of a potential witness against him in a Medicare Fraud and Abuse case. The jury came back now with the death penalty. The defense states the podiatrist was under the influence of alcohol, opiates and depression. Top
Cowell v HHS
Physicians and some organizations filed suit against the HHS for their Guidance on interpreters for limited English speaking patients. The court ruled that the guidance holds and that all that get Medicare or Medicaid money must give interpreters to these people. The interpreters should not be friends or family of the patients. This came from an interpretation of Title VI by an executive order of President Clinton.
Gillespie v Dimensions Health
Hearing impaired patients sued the hospital claiming the failed to provided a qualified sign language interpreter. This was under the ADA and Title VI. The hospital moved for summary judgment stating the people had no immediate threat and therefore had no standing. The court stated that they may become patients at the hospital at any time and therefore have standing. Summary judgment denied. TopArchive
DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.