11 latest healthcare industry lawsuits, settlements

From a jury finding a former hospital administrator guilty of participating in a kickback scheme to a physician being awarded $1.5 million in a defamation suit against Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx, here are the latest healthcare industry lawsuits and settlements making headlines.

1. DOJ joins whistle-blower suit accusing UnitedHealth of overbilling Medicare
The Department of Justice intervened in a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group and one of its subsidiaries used erroneous coding to inflate Medicare Advantage risk scores. 

2. Bermuda government accuses Lahey of bribing island's former leader
Bermuda filed a federal lawsuit against Boston-based Lahey Hospital & Medical Center accusing the hospital group of bribing the island's former leader in exchange for preferential treatment in winning government healthcare contracts.

3. New lawsuit alleges mold killed 2 more patients at third UPMC hospital
The family of a patient at UPMC Shadyside hospital in Pittsburgh who contracted a fungal infection and later died filed a lawsuit against UPMC and its laundry provider alleging negligence.

4. Man sues St. Joseph's Healthcare System for refusing to perform gender transition surgery
A transgender man filed a lawsuit against Paterson, N.J.-based St. Joseph's Healthcare System for refusing to perform a hysterectomy as part of the man's gender transition process.

5. Physician awarded $1.5M in defamation suit against UnitedHealth's OptumRx
Jose Ignacio Lopez, MD, was awarded $1.5 million in a lawsuit he filed in 2014 alleging Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx incorrectly included him on a list of physicians banned from Medicare participation.

6. Cigna ends merger agreement, sues Anthem for $14.85B: 3 things to know
Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna terminated its merger agreement with Indianapolis-based Anthem and filed a lawsuit against the insurer for roughly $14.85 billion.

7. Ex-hospital administrator faces up to 70 years in prison for role in kickback scheme
A federal jury found a former administrator of Shreveport, La.-based Physicians Behavioral Hospital — a 24-bed facility that offers psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment — guilty of 14 counts of paying illegal kickbacks.

8. Lawyer sentenced to prison for stealing $1.2M in patient payments from St. Luke's
Alan B. Gallas, 65, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for stealing more than $1.2 million from Kansas City, Mo.-based St. Luke's Health System between 2009 and July 2015.

9. Kaiser pays $850k to settle allegations of pharmacy recordkeeping errors
Oakland Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente paid $850,000 to settle allegations that one of the system's pharmacies in Modesto, Calif., violated the Controlled Substances Act.

10. Comprehensive Health Services pays $3.8M for allegedly double billing IRS
Cape Canaveral, Fla.-based workforce medical services provider Comprehensive Health Services agreed to pay the federal government $3.8 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations.

11. Texas psychiatric hospital pays $860k to settle false claims case
University Behavioral Health of El Paso (Texas) entered into an $860,000 civil settlement with the Department of Justice to resolve allegations the psychiatric hospital violated the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law.

More articles on healthcare legal and regulatory matters:

HHS: Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute are barriers to innovative payment models
Bankrupt Louisiana hospital faces lawsuit over layoff notification
TeamHealth to pay $60M to resolve false claims case

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