8 recent hospital lawsuits, settlements

From fired MetroHealth CEO filing a second lawsuit against the system to three California hospitals paying $22.5 million to settle billing fraud allegations, here are eight recent legal actions involving hospitals that Becker's has reported since Dec. 6:  

1. UVA Health faces class-action lawsuit alleging religious discrimination

Attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit against Charlottesville, Va.-based UVA Health on behalf of several hundred former employees and job applicants, accusing the health system of systematically refusing religious accommodations to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

2. Motion filed to recuse district attorney in case against former California hospital executives

Attorneys for three executives of Healthcare Conglomerate Associates, a hospital management firm based in Tulare, Calif., are accusing Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward of biased prosecution — claims that, depending on court action, could force the recusal of Mr. Ward's office from cases against the executives. Charges were filed against the executives in 2020 related alleged mismanagement during their time at HCCA. 

3. Fired MetroHealth CEO files new lawsuit, alleges breach of contract

Akram Boutros, MD, who was fired as president and CEO of Cleveland-based MetroHealth, filed a second lawsuit against the health system and its board. The lawsuit alleges Dr. Boutros has "lost two employment opportunities for which he was under consideration once his employment with MetroHealth was to expire, seats on the boards of three technology companies, an opportunity with an investment management company, as well as funding for a philanthropic endeavor to address gun violence in Cleveland."

4. The federal government cannot compel Catholic healthcare providers to perform 

The federal government cannot compel Catholic healthcare providers to perform gender-affirming surgeries under an HHS regulation that bans sex discrimination in healthcare, a U.S. appeals court ruled. The plaintiffs, which include Valley City, N.D.-based SMP Health and the Catholic Medical Association, are entitled "to permanent injunctive relief from the provision or coverage of gender-transition procedures," the judges wrote in their decision. 

5. Tenet-owned Massachusetts hospital to pay $1.78M to settle false claim allegations

Worcester, Mass.-based, Tenet Healthcare-owned St. Vincent Hospital will pay more than $1.78 million to settle allegations it received impermissible payments from Medicare by inflating charges and failed to fully reimburse the government.

6. SUNY Upstate reclaims vacant Syracuse lot, following lawsuit settlement

Syracuse, N.Y.-based SUNY Upstate Medical University settled a lawsuit with Cor Development to regain control of eight acres of land in downtown Syracuse.

7. Dignity, 2 Tenet affiliates to resolve billing fraud allegations for $22.5M

San Francisco-based Dignity Health and two Tenet Healthcare-affiliated facilities in California agreed to pay more than $22 million combined to settle Medi-Cal billing fraud allegations. The federal government and state of California accused Dignity, Twin Cities Community Hospital and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center of submitting Medi-Cal claims for services that were not allowed medical expenses, did not reflect the fair market value of the enhanced services provided or were duplicated services.

8. Northeast Hospital to pay $1.9M to settle allegations it failed to keep proper records of opioids

Northeast Hospital Corp., part of Cambridge, Mass.-based Beth Israel Lahey Health, has agreed to pay $1.9 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Controlled Substance Act by failing to keep accurate records of opioids. 

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