9 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.

Steward Sues BCBS of Rhode Island for Allegedly Blocking Hospital Acquisition
Boston-based Steward Health Care System is suing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, claiming the payor blocked Steward's plans to purchase Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket, R.I., last fall by failing to negotiate a reasonable contract.

2 Montana Hospitals to Pay $3.95M for Alleged Stark Law Violations
St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings and Holy Rosary Healthcare in Miles City agreed to pay a combined $3.95 million to settle federal allegations they violated the Stark Law and False Claims Act by improperly incentivizing physicians who made referrals to the hospitals.

Lee Memorial in Florida Sues BP, Halliburton Over 2010 Oil Spill
Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Fla., sued BP and Halliburton for reparations related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010.

Feds Probe Tenet Hospitals for Potential Kickbacks
Federal officials are investigating several Atlanta-area hospitals owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare for potential violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act. The hospitals named in the subpoena are Atlanta Medical Center, South Fulton Medical Center (now known as Atlanta Medical Center – South Campus), both in Atlanta. Also named are North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell, Ga., Spalding Regional Hospital in Griffin, Ga., and Hilton Head (S.C.) Hospital.

UPMC's Email Policy Violated Federal Labor Law, Judge Rules
A Pittsburgh administrative judge ruled that University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's email policy that barred the use of computer systems for union-organizing activities violated federal labor law.

Supreme Court Hears Discrimination Case Against UT Southwestern Med Center
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a discrimination case involving University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and justices seem divided as to whether the court should affirm a physician's discrimination lawsuit against the hospital.

EEOC Files Suit Against Baptist Health South Florida
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Coral Gables, Fla.-based Baptist Health South Florida, claiming the system violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

UPMC Sues Pittsburgh, Mayor Ravenstahl Over Tax-Exempt Challenge
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center filed suit against the city of Pittsburgh and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, claiming the city's lawsuit questioning UPMC's tax-exempt status is a "campaign to target and damage UPMC."

New York Hospital Faces Lawsuit Over Data Breach Affecting More Than 2K Patients
Glens Falls (N.Y.) Hospital faces a class-action lawsuit after the names and medical records of 2,360 patients were accidentally released.

More Articles on Legal Issues in Healthcare:

22 Advisory Opinions Issued by the OIG; 6 Relevant to Hospitals, Surgery Centers and Other Providers
Emerging Trends in Stark, False Claims and Anti-Kickback Cases for Health Systems
How to Avoid a Regulatory Nightmare: Establishing an Effective Data and Records Management Program

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