10 recent hospital lawsuits, settlements

From Wellstar Health getting hit with three federal complaints over the closure of two Atlanta-area hospitals, to a former CEO suing a Missouri hospital for slander, here are 10 hospital lawsuits and settlements reported by Becker's since Feb. 27:   

1. The Fulton County (Ga.) Commission voted to file a complaint with the Justice Department against Marietta, Ga.-based Wellstar Health System, marking the third request for federal complaints against the health system over its closure of two Atlanta-area hospitals in a week. 

The civil rights organization NAACP and a coalition of Georgia lawmakers filed two federal complaints against Wellstar over its closure of Atlanta Medical Center South in East Point and its 460-bed sister facility, Atlanta Medical Center — both in primarily Black areas. 

2. Randall Tobler, MD, the former CEO of Memphis, Mo.-based Scotland County Hospital, sued the hospital over slander and defamation allegations. 

3. Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola (Fla.) agreed to pay $2.4 million after it self-reported alleged violations of the Civil Monetary Penalties Law.

4. A registered nurse in Ohio filed a complaint in federal court against a Kettering Health hospital, alleging the hospital failed to pay overtime wages to nurses who worked through unpaid meal breaks. 

5. A pain management physician is suing New Martinsville, W.Va.-based Wetzel County Hospital for "squeezing him out of the market." 

6. Federal judges struck down a request for nearly $1 million in a sales tax refund from District Hospital Partners, the operator of Washington, D.C.-based George Washington Hospital. 

7. Lakeland (Fla.) Regional Medical Center agreed to pay $4 million to settle allegations it made improper, non-bona fide Medicaid donations to Polk County, Fla., by assuming and paying certain amounts of the county's financial obligation to other healthcare providers. 

8. Warsaw, N.Y.-based Wyoming County Community Health System is being sued by a physician who was terminated more than a year ago, alleging defamation, breach of contract and retaliation. 

9. A federal judge ruled that New Hampshire's practice of temporarily boarding mental health patients in hospital emergency departments is an illegal seizure of the hospitals' property. 

10. UPMC, its chair of cardiothoracic surgery and University of Pittsburgh Physicians agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle allegations they illegally submitted hundreds of false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs over a six-year period.

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