12 latest healthcare industry lawsuits, settlements

From healthcare providers accusing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of acting as a cartel to Cleveland Clinic being hit with a federal lawsuit over a hospital closure, here are the latest healthcare industry lawsuits and settlements.

1. Feds settle case with Community Health Systems hospital over kickbacks
Health Management Associates in Naples, Fla., and Clearview Regional Medical Center in Monroe, Ga., which are both owned by Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, agreed to pay the federal government $595,155 to settle kickback allegations.

2. Hospital operator hit with federal lawsuit for unexpectedly closing NC hospital
The privately owned company that manages Yadkin Valley Community Hospital in Yadkinville, N.C., was hit with a federal lawsuit over its unexpected closure of the hospital.

3. Court refuses to toss antitrust lawsuit against Illinois hospital
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois dismissed exclusive dealing allegations against BlueCross and BlueShield of Illinois, but a hospital that was also named in the antitrust lawsuit was not as lucky.

4. Scope manufacturer Olympus countersues Virginia Mason
Olympus America, the maker of the medical scope tied to outbreaks of so-called superbug infections at Virginia Mason Medical Center, countersued the Seattle-based hospital, saying its scopes are not responsible for any deaths or damages.

5. Judge dismisses class-action lawsuit against UPMC for 2014 data breach
A county judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a class-action lawsuit against Pittsburgh-based UPMC regarding a 2014 data breach.

6. Texas hospital sues 3 major insurers over PPO network exclusion
East Texas Medical Center Tyler filed a lawsuit in excess of $1 million against three of the largest health insurance companies in the state — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Aetna and Cigna — claiming exclusion from their preferred provider networks has created "serious and negative consumer impact."

7. Courts permit Teladoc to temporarily continue operating in Texas
A Texas federal court issued a temporary injunction that permits providers to continue offering consultative services to patients via telemedicine.

8. Judge rules UPMC must offer in-network access to Highmark Medicare Advantage members
Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini granted a motion requiring Pittsburgh-based UPMC to continue to provide in-network access to Highmark Medicare Advantage members until 2019, which is the duration of the consent decree UPMC and Highmark entered into last summer.

9. Cleveland Clinic hit with $400M lawsuit over Lakewood Hospital closure
A group of community activists in Lakewood, Ohio, filed a lawsuit against Cleveland Clinic in an attempt to get the system to continue leasing Lakewood Hospital through 2026 instead of closing it and opening a family health center and emergency department in its place.

10. Healthcare providers accuse Blue Cross and Blue Shield of acting as a cartel
Two federal lawsuits — one brought on behalf of healthcare providers and one on behalf of individual and small-employer customers — claim Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers are engaging in cartel-like behavior by divvying up markets to avoid competing against one another.

11. High court ruling could cause surge in healthcare whistle-blower lawsuits
A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a lawsuit involving the application of the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act to False Claims Act cases could have implications in the healthcare industry.

12. Former St. John's Children's Hospital director pleads guilty to embezzling $700K
Margaret "Peggy" Curtin, former executive director of Hospital Sisters Health System St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield, Ill., pleaded guilty to stealing more than $700,000 from the hospital over a 6.5-year period ending in 2014.

More articles on health law:

OIG recovers $1.8B from providers in first half of FY 2015: 5 takeaways
King v. Burwell forecast: 3 experts on hospital, payer and state impact
CMS plans new fraud-tracking website


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