BCBS of Louisiana unit's supplier suit heads to SCOTUS

A subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield requested the U.S. Supreme Court consider an opinion favoring medical equipment and staffing firm Encompass Office Solutions, which sued the insurer over benefit payments and defamation, according to Bloomberg Law.

The subsidiary, Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Co., wants SCOTUS to review a Fifth Circuit opinion. The insurer argues the Fifth Circuit's opinion wrongly ignored a term in BCBS' policy that bars plan members from assigning their right to sue to medical providers. The Fifth Circuit said BCBS couldn't use this provision to fight Encompass' lawsuit due to the fact that BCBS used to process Encompass' claims and pay the company.

However, BCBS said in holding that the insurer waived the provision, the Fifth Circuit conflicted with the Third and Ninth circuits. BCBS is also asking SCOTUS to undo the Fifth Circuit's ruling for Encompass on defamation claims. BCBS sent a letter to in-network physicians asking them to stop working with Encompass, according to the report. The claim, tried before a jury, led to an $8.5 million payment to Encompass. 

Read more here.

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