21 Recent Investigations, Lawsuits and Settlements Involving Hospitals

The following investigations, lawsuits, settlements or other legal developments involving healthcare providers were reported within the past month, beginning with the most recent.


1. Hurley Medical Center Settles With EEOC Over Alleged Patient Discrimination of Nurse
Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich., reached a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission following a lawsuit from a nurse claiming the hospital indulged a patient's racially discriminating requests.

2. Lawsuit: New Mexico Hospital, Physician Teamed for Unnecessary Care
A New Mexico hospital and physician face allegations they teamed with an international biomedical technology company to implant unnecessary devices into patients.

3. Vanderbilt University Medical Center Faces Allegations of Patient Dumping
Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center faces claims of patient dumping after it allegedly discharged an uninsured patient prematurely.

4. Opening Statements Delivered in St. Luke's Antitrust Case
During the opening arguments of the antitrust case against St. Luke's Health System, lawyers representing the Federal Trade Commission and two area hospitals argued the Boise, Idaho-based system's acquisition of an independent physician practice would give the system an unfair advantage in the regional market.

5. Judge Reopens Case Against Former Twin City Hospital Executives
A previously dismissed lawsuit against former executives at Trinity Hospital Twin City in Dennison, Ohio, regarding an alleged connection between the executives and the hospital's financial trouble was reopened.

6. Oncology Practice Progressive Care Faces Suit From Embattled Whistle-Blower
A former executive at Progressive Care S.C., an oncology practice in Chicago, filed a whistle-blower suit accusing three physicians of improperly billing Medicare and violating the Stark Law.

7. Allegheny Health Backs "Any Willing Provider" Bill to End UPMC Scuffle
Officials from Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network are lobbying for "any willing provider" legislation, which would prohibit payers from refusing to contract with any hospitals willing to provide services.

8. Hutchinson Regional Medical Center Settles False Claims Allegations
Hutchinson (Kan.) Regional Medical Center agreed to a settlement of $853,651 to resolve allegations the hospital violated the False Claims Act.

9. Several Florida Providers to Pay $3.5M Over False Billing Allegations
Several Pensacola, Fla.-based radiation oncology providers — including one health system — will pay a cumulative $3.5 million to resolve false billing allegations.

10. SEC: Jackson Health System's Operator Misled Investors
The Securities and Exchange Commission charged the operator of Miami-based Jackson Health System for allegedly misleading investors about its financial condition.

11. Forest Park Medical Center Settles Kickback Allegations, But DOJ Investigation Continues
Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas settled criminal and civil changes of violating the federal Anti-Kickback Statute with a payment of $258,000 and consent to up to two years of federally imposed monitoring, although federal investigation continues into other FPMC facilities and affiliated persons.

12. Vanderbilt University Medical Center Faces Whistle-Blower Suit
Former employees of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., filed a lawsuit alleging the hospital fraudulently billed Medicare for several years.

13. San Francisco Files Suit Against Nevada for Patient-Dumping
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed a suit against the state of Nevada for allegedly giving psychiatric patients from a state-run hospital a one-way ticket to California.

14. UPMC Withdraws False Advertising Lawsuit Against Highmark
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center withdrew its lawsuit accusing Highmark of false advertising against the health system.

15. Norton Healthcare Files Suit Against University of Louisville in Ongoing Dispute
Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky., filed a lawsuit against the University of Louisville in an ongoing dispute revolving around Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville.

16. OIG Subpoenas Team Health Over Services Rendered to HMA
Team Health, a physician staffing company, received a subpoena from HHS' Office of the Inspector General for information on services rendered to Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates hospitals.

17. Advocate Data Breach Update: Class Action Lawsuit Filed
Advocate Health Care now faces a class action lawsuit from patients affected by a theft of four computers from the Downers Grove, Ill.-based system's offices.

18. Hurley Medical Center Settles Family and Medical Leave Act Lawsuit
Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich., agreed to a $375,000 settlement in a lawsuit accusing the hospital of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act.

19. Torrance Memorial Sued Over Photo Taken During Surgery
Torrance (Calif.) Memorial Medical Center faces a lawsuit over a photo taken of a patient while she was undergoing surgery.

20. Mayo Clinic Not Guilty of Fraudulent Billing
A federal court ruled a lack of written reports for permanent tissue sample slides does not mean the claims the Mayo Clinic submitted for them were fraudulent.

21. Former Powell Valley CEO Pays $3.5M to Settle Fraud Suit
Paul Cardwell, the former CEO of Powell (Wyo.) Valley Healthcare, agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle a fraud lawsuit.

More Articles on Hospital Legal Issues:

16 Questions to Assess a Hospital's Legal Compliance
HHS: Law Doesn't Require Charity Care to Count in DSH Payment Calculation
Norton Healthcare Files Suit Against University of Louisville in Ongoing Dispute

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