10 recent healthcare industry lawsuits, settlements

The following is a roundup of healthcare industry lawsuits, lawsuit updates and settlements reported in the last two weeks, beginning with the most recent.

1. Community Health Systems faces class-action lawsuit over hacking of 4.5M patients' data 
Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems is facing a putative class-action lawsuit in Alabama federal court for allegedly failing to secure its patients' data, which allowed hackers to access the personal information of nearly 4.5 million people.

2. Ohio cardiologist charged with causing unnecessary heart surgeries as part of fraud scheme
A 16-count indictment was unsealed in federal court charging Harold Persaud, MD, with performing procedures and causing unnecessary coronary artery bypass surgeries to be performed as part of a scheme to overbill Medicare and private insurers by $7.2 million.

3. Anthem Blue Cross faces another lawsuit over narrow networks
A group of 33 Anthem Blue Cross members filed a lawsuit against the insurer in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging the company misrepresented the size of its physician networks and the benefits provided under the plans it offered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

4. Appeals court says no Medicare reimbursement for "pure research"
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Rush University Medical Center in Chicago cannot bill Medicare for time spent on "pure research" unrelated to direct patient care.

5. New York Heart Center to pay $1.34 million to settle FCA, Stark Law allegations
New York Heart Center in SyracuseN.Y. agreed to pay the government $1.34 million to resolve allegations the group practice compensated physicians in a manner that violated the False Claims Act and the Stark Law.

6. Carondelet Health Network to pay $35M in Arizona's largest FCA settlement
Tucson, Ariz.-based Carondelet Health Network agreed to pay the government $35 million to resolve allegations its hospitals acted in violation of the False Claims Act by submitting fraudulent claims to government-run programs for reimbursement.

7. Man sues physician for listing homosexuality as 'chronic condition' in his medical record
A California man is suing Torrance Memorial Physician Network in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and his physician, Elaine Jones, MD, for intentional infliction of emotional distress and libel after she listed "homosexual behavior" as a "chronic condition" on his medical records.

8. Optim Healthcare to pay $4M to settle FCA, Stark Law allegations
Savannah, Ga.-based Optim Healthcare agreed to pay the government $4 million to resolve allegations the company submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare between 2008 and 2012.

9. Judge slams Providence Health Plan for wrongfully denying coverage for autistic children
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon ruled Providence Health Plan violated both federal and state mental health parity laws by denying insurance coverage for "applied behavioral analysis" — a form of autism therapy — for children in Portland, Ore.

10. McKesson to pay $18M over vaccine handling claims
San Francisco-based pharmaceutical distributor McKesson agreed to pay $18 million to settle allegations that it failed to comply with shipping and handling requirements of its vaccines, thereby violating its contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More articles on lawsuits in the healthcare industry: 

10 largest False Claims, Stark Law and Anti-Kickback settlements of 2014
Settle a medical malpractice claim outside of court? It still must be reported to the NPDB
Increased use of non-monetary tools in FCA enforcement

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