7 latest healthcare industry lawsuits

From an Illinois health system sued over its billing practices to a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that seeks to clarify the legal boundaries of the patient-physician relationship, here are the latest healthcare industry lawsuits making headlines.

1. Texas patient recruiter gets prison time for role in $20M Medicare fraud scheme
A patient recruiter for several Houston-area home health agencies was sentenced May 29 to more than 15 years in prison for her role in a $20 million fraud scheme that involved paying illegal kickbacks to physicians and submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare.

2. Physicians liable for malpractice even when treatment is indirect, rules Minnesota Supreme Court
A new court ruling in Minnesota seeks to clarify the legal boundaries of the patient-physician relationship.

3. Justices send UPMC-Highmark case back to lower court
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court sent a case involving UPMC and Highmark back to a lower court, stating more information is needed to make a decision on the deadline of an upcoming split between the Pittsburgh-based rivals.

4. Ex-Pennsylvania health system COO charged in $1.3M fraud scheme faces new accusations
The former COO of Butler (Pa.) Health System was hit with new charges on May 22 after being indicted earlier this year on more than three-dozen charges, including embezzlement, mail fraud and money laundering.

5. Healthcare CEO sentenced to prison in bribery case
The founder and CEO of Trina Health, a chain of diabetes treatment clinics based in Sacramento, Calif., was sentenced to six months in federal prison and six months of home detention for conspiring to bribe an Alabama legislator.

6. Class-action accuses Illinois health system of placing liens instead of billing patient insurance
Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University Health System is accused of placing liens instead of billing patient insurance and Medicare.

7. Legal challenges mount against religious freedom rule for healthcare workers
Several civil rights groups sued the Trump administration May 28, alleging the "conscience protection" rule, which will allow healthcare workers to deny care based on religious beliefs, is unconstitutional.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:

UNC sues Vidant over hospital board shuffle
Intermountain drops false claims case it took to Supreme Court
Physician says fraudster stole his identity to bilk Medicare

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