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. Prime Healthcare Sued Over "Inflated and Grossly Excessive" ED Rates for Uninsured Patients
Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services is facing a class-action lawsuit accusing Prime Healthcare Huntington Beach and Huntington Beach (Calif.) Hospital of charging uninsured patients more for emergency department services.

2. Mercy Sued Over Physician Recruitment Strategy
Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy is being sued by Cooper Clinic, a physician-owned multispecialty practice based in Fort Smith, Ark., over Mercy's physician recruitment tactics.

3. 11 Kentucky Hospitals File Complaints Alleging HIX Exclusion
Eleven hospitals in Kentucky have filed complaints with the Kentucky Department of Insurance alleging unfair exclusion from the plans offered on the state's new insurance marketplace.

4. Highmark and UPMC Continue to Battle Over Settlement
Highmark has asked a federal judge to force UPMC to sign the settlement agreement drafted to conclude four years of antitrust litigation between the Pittsburgh-based healthcare giants.

5. GWU Hospital Triumphant in False Claims Suit
George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., has prevailed in an 18-year-old lawsuit accusing the hospital of False Claims Act violations.

6. Kings County Hospital Faces Whistle-Blower Suit Over False Diagnoses
Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., is facing a whistle-blower suit alleging hospital administrators knew incompetence at the hospital's laboratory was causing life-changing misdiagnoses.

7. Summerlin Hospital Faces Lawsuit Over Tuberculosis Exposure
Hospital employees, former patients and visitors of Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas filed a suit alleging hospital missteps exposed them to tuberculosis.

8. Ascension Health Sees Whistle-Blower False Claims Act Suit Dismissed
A U.S. district judge dismissed a False Claims Act lawsuit against St. Louis-based Ascension Health, deciding the whistle-blower who initiated the case did not have enough evidence to support his allegations.

9. Baptist Health Systems Settles FCA Suit With $3.7M
San Antonio-based Baptist Health Systems paid a settlement of $3.7 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act.

10. Brownsville Doctors Hospital Faces $2M Suit From Creditor
Brownsville (Texas) Doctors Hospital is facing a $1.9 million suit from creditor Key Equipment Finance.

11. UPMC Asks Judge to Enforce Initial Settlement With Highmark
Pittsburgh-based UPMC asked a judge to enforce a written version of the verbal agreement it reached in principle with Highmark last month — not Highmark's version that would "muzzle" UPMC in another lawsuit it faces.

12. Judge: Halifax Violated Stark Law With Bonuses to Oncologists
A federal judge issued a summary judgment that found Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Halifax Health's contracts with six oncologists violated Stark Law.

13. UPMC: City of Pittsburgh Cannot Identify a Single Person Employed by UPMC
Pittsburgh-based UPMC maintained its claim it has zero employees and said the city of Pittsburgh "has not, and cannot, identify a single person who is employed by or on the payroll of UPMC, the parent holding company."

14. Avera St. Luke's, Physician Jointly Decide to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Malpractice Payment
A lawsuit filed by Avera St. Luke's Hospital in Aberdeen, S.D., against an Ohio physician seeking compensation for his role in a 2008 procedure that led to a malpractice payout was dismissed.

15. Medical Arts Hospital to Receive $3.7M Settlement Over Construction Problems
Dawson County Hospital District will receive a settlement of $3.7 million over alleged construction problems at Medical Arts Hospital in Lamesa, Texas.

16. President of SUNY Upstate Medical University Resigns in Wake of Investigation
The president of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., resigned in light of charges that he allegedly padded his pay with income from two affiliated companies.

17. Former Hospital for Special Surgery CEO Sentenced to 18 Months in Kickback Case
John R. Reynolds, the former CEO of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his participation in a decade-long kickback scheme.

18. Former Gila Regional Physician Awarded $1.8M in Suit Alleging Reputation Damage
A jury awarded $1.8 million to a former physician at Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, N.M., finding the hospital unlawfully damaged his professional reputation and violated his right to a fair proceeding.

19. Detroit Medical Center: Only System Out of 8 to Not Settle in Class-Action Suit
Detroit Medical Center is the lone defendant in a class-action lawsuit brought by registered nurses in the Detroit area, as seven other health systems agreed to a settlement of $48 million combined.

20. Sutter Health to Pay $46M, Change Billing Practices in Anesthesia Billing Settlement
Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health agreed to pay $46 million in an out-of-court settlement to resolve allegations of false and improper billing for anesthesia services.

21. SSM Health Care to Pay $475k to Settle False Claims Allegations
SSM Health Care of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City agreed to a settlement of $475,000 to resolve allegations the company billed Medicare for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient services.

More Articles on Healthcare Legal Issues:

Affidavit Claims Former Pacific Hospital of Long Beach CEO Bribed State Senator
Billing Errors at Mary Washington Hospital Led to $327k in Overpayments
American College of Cardiology Changes Wording to Describe Needless Stents

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