Veterans v VA
The San Francisco trial by the vets against the VA for their shoddy or non mental health care preventing suicides is now at a close. The judge will probably hand down his ruling in June. The government based its arguments on the issue that the court does not have jurisdiction, not that the VA is a good organization. They say the VA has been overwhelmed with claims and they have been neglectful in not hiring more to take care of the people in a more humane fashion. Top
Stormans Inc v Washington
Washington has a law that prohibits pharmacists from not giving out Plan B pharmaceuticals if prescribed by a physician. The law was deemed unconstitutional by the USDC and the appellate judge let the lower court ruling stand. It will be heard again by the full 9th circuit later. Top
Park v WellStar Douglas Hosp
The lower court has thrown out the med mal cap of $350,000 for non economic damages saying that it gave special protection to the medical profession. The plaintiff fell off a ladder and is suing the hospital and physicians for missing injuries that have left him quadriplegic. The ruling only applies to the one case and not the state. The defendants are trying to decide whether or not to appeal in order to give the state supreme court a chance to throw out the law in the entire state. The high court has already ruled that the defendants can not decide which county the case will be heard. Top
US v Smith
Nurse Andrea Smith has pled guilty to HIPAA violations by wrongfully disclosing PHI for personal gain. The nurse at the Jonestown Northwest Arkansas Clinic gave unauthorized information to her husband. The husband then attempted blackmail on the patient. She faces a prison term of 10 years and a fie of up to $250,000. Top
Rodriquiz v Blue Cross
The Court ruled that the arbitration clause in the Blue Cross form was not legal and therefore a class action suit against the insurer can proceed. The case was for Blue Cross' illegal rescissions. The arbitration form was found to be only for med mal and not illegal conduct of the insurer. Top
US v CoxHealth
The final settlement in CoxHealth of Springfield, Missouri, is expected to be in the neighborhood of $60 million. They have been bad boys. They were accused of paying physicians for referrals, false claims for dialysis and false cost reporting. Two employees were fired after talking to the feds regarding the possible criminal dialysis problems. They are suing the system separately for wrongful discharge. The System may lose alot of top employees over their roles.
US v Greenwich Hospital
Greenwich Hospital becomes the third Connecticut hospital in the past year to be fined for overcharging Medicare. The hospital is paying $605,294 for their misbilling of chemotherapy services. Yale had paid over $3.7 million and the University of Conn. was fine $475,000.
US v Baptist Health
Baptist Health of South Florida has agreed to pay $7.77 million for their excessive payments to oncologists for referrals. Top
US v Campbell
The government has filed suit against Dr. Joseph Campbell or Orange, NJ and Dr. Atui Prakash of Cedar Grove, NJ. The charges relate to payments to them by University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey for work never done. What they and another 16 cardiologists did was refer patients to the program for money. The government is seeking triple damages so Campbell is for $375,000 and Prakash for over $2.5 million. Two other cardiologists have already pled guilty. Top
Kadlec v Lakeview Anesthesia
In one of the most controversial suits in healthcare in recent years and one that sent hospital attorneys into a dither making recommendations without merit has been reversed. Dr. Berry was an anesthesiologist employed by Lakeview Anesthesia and worked at Lakeview Medical in Louisiana. He was a narcotic addict and was found to be impaired on the job. He was fired by the anesthesia group and had no peer review at the hospital since his privileges were revoked when he was fired. He was hired by Kadlec Hospital in Washington. They asked for references from the hospital who only gave the standard worked there from date to date. The anesthesia group wrote two letters from the people who fired Dr. Berry saying he was a good anesthesiologist and did not mention his addiction. While working at Kadlec, he injured a patient while under the influence. This cost Kadlec about $8 million and they sued both the employer and the hospital for their letters of recommendations. Kadlec won in district court which set the hospital attorneys who are not in this district into a frenzy. They then argued that we must disclose everything in our letters and no more just worked from date to date. The 5th Circuit just overruled the district court and stated that it is ok to give just the dates but if you give any other information you must give it all. The hospital was absolved but the anesthesia group and the physicians who wrote the letters were held to be at fault. The case was remanded for the percentages of fault to be determined.
Hass v Wyoming Valley Health
The physician sued for loss of privileges due to ADA. He won at trial $250,000. On appeal the court stated that he had standing but was not an otherwise qualified person. The court reversed the trial court and ruled for the hospital. The hospital had required a co-surgeon for Dr. Hass due to bipolar disease. Hass refused and now has no practice.
Ennix v Stanten
The physician had a death and some other complications on doing a new procedure. The physician had his privileges suspended and sued for racial discrimination. In order to do this one must be employed. The doctor argued that he was employed by the hospital by contract when the physician paid dues and complied with the bylaws. The court did not allow summary judgment and stated the jury could conclude there was a contract between the hospital and physician and the physician had established a prima facie case of discrimination since he was treated differently than others of the operating team. To trial. Top
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.