Byrne v Avery
The state high court ruled that the plaintiff can sue for emotional distress based on a unauthorized disclosure of medical information by the defendant Avery Center for OB. The court stated that even though the HIPAA law states there is no private cause of action under the federal law the state may sue in negligence and the federal law may be used as a general accepted standard of care.
Massachusetts v Beth Israel
The hospital paid $100,000 to settle the data breach from a stolen laptop where 3800 names and social security numbers were taken.
Patients v Brigham and Woman's
A breach is a breach. A physician had his cell phone and laptop stolen in an armed robbery. He was forced to disclose the passwords and encryption key to the information. The theft hit about 1000 people with violations of their medical but not their financial information.
US v Washington
Two people, one of which worked at Henry Ford and DMC Harper Hospitals and stole patient information were arrested. They were using the information to file false IRS reports for rebates. About 1000 people were affected.
Patients v Highmark Health
A server with the information of about 75,000 people is missing from a Visionworks store. They are a subsidy of HighMark Health. It is unclear whether or not HighMark is footing the bill for the credit monitoring.
Patients v WellPoint
WellPoint via a business associate, probably Salesforce, may have a major HIPAA violation on its hands. They sent email reminders to possibly millions of consumers to get various tests. However, in the subject line of the email was health information. WellPoint does not think this is a HIPAA violation but they are wrong. Top
US v Barson
Dr. Dennis Barson, Jr. was found guilty of healthcare fraud by a jury. The fraud was for tests never preformed but billed. He will be sentenced later.
Administrators v WellCare
Six former administrators for WellCare have sued for fraud. The feds have decided not to join. The whistleblowers allege the insurer increased denials of Medicare and Medicaid hospital stays while getting money to pay for claims. They state that CFO Tran ordered the increase in denials after the insurer was "bleeding money". WellCare is studying the case.
Mastej v HMA
The Circuit court allowed the case against HMA to proceed to trial since the whistleblower was the CEO of one of the hospitals. This reversed a dismissal in the lower court re fraud and kickbacks. The suit alleges the payment to neurosurgeons to take emergency on-call coverage when there was no emergency neurosurgical coverage. It also alleges they paid for four other physicians to go on a golf outing. All to generate referrals.
US v Sabit
Dr. Aria Sabit of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has been arrested and charged with healthcare fraud. He billed for surgery which requires the implantation of a device in the spine but when the patient's pain continued and they sought other opinions they were told nothing had been implanted. They are also after him for "lying" on his naturalization application stating he had never committed health care fraud.
US v White
Mr. Joe White was the CFO of Shelby Regional Medical Center. During his time there he lied on forms that the hospital was EMR Meaningful Use certified. It was not and the hospital received almost $800,000 from Medicare which it did not deserve. Top
Pal v Jersey City Medical Center
The physician was denied hospital staff privileges and sued for discrimination. She sued for damages, a real no no that the attorney should have known was not going to fly. It didn't. The case was dismissed since HCQIA does not allow damages and there was no evidence of conspiracy. Money down the drain.
Shrub v U. of Texas Health Science
Medical student Shrub was dismissed from the program. He claimed he had an obsessive compulsive disorder and needed the professors slides to learn. All complied but one and he claimed that this caused migraine and hospitalization. The university wanted to see his psyc records to determine whether he was a danger to himself or others. He refused to comply and was dropped. He then sued under the ADA. He of course lost. He did it to himself by not complying and by not providing any evidence he has a disability.
Sedans v NY Presbyterian
In the area of dumb hospitals and hospital attorneys this has to top the list. The plaintiff is a 49 year old female RN with Parkinson's Disease. She had a neurostimulator placed in her brain which worked well. However, magnetic fields can cause pain from the stimulator. She had worked at the hospital from 1998 and had the procedure in 2004. She told the hospital about the procedure and they placed her on non MRI ICU duty. In 2007, she was ordered to work in a MRI ICU over her protests. She got stabbing pains in her head and the stimulator had to be reprogrammed twice by the neurosurgeon. She was then fired for not accepting the continued MRI ICU assignments. She sued for discrimination under the ADA. The hospital said she was not disabled. She won rightly $1.85 million for4 emotional distress and $2.1 million for punitive damages.
Misas v Lenox Hills Hospital
Two workers at the hospital state that their supervisor showed them porn images on his computer. They complained and then the supervisor started harassing them with email messages. One of the women was fired and the other is still at the hospital. The supervisor has been transferred, not fired. They seek big bucks from the hospital. Top
King v Burwell
The Supreme Court having one week not deciding to take the case, the next week, after the elections, decided to take the case of whether or not subsidies under Obamacare may be paid to individuals enrolling under the healthcare.gov website or if it is restricted to only the states per se. There is a split in the appellate courts on this issue. If the court rules that subsidies are not allowed Obamacare will be out as the new insurance contracts have an out clause allowing the insurance companies to drop the exchange insurance if there are material changes. Oral arguments begin December 17.
US House of Representatives v
Obama's immigration executive action was the straw that broke the Republican House's back. They filed a law suit against Obama for his executive action overreaches. They may or may not win but if the suit is allowed to be heard it might lead to the answer of what a president may or may not do without Congress.
Lenox Hill Hospital v Zurawin
The hospital has asked a judge to evict a patient from the hospital. The patient was admitted for a heart problem and had a stent placed. Two months later he is still there refusing to leave until he is referred to a rehab hospital which the hospital states he does not need. The patient has filed appeals to his insurance company which has been denied and they have stopped paying his bills. The patient is rich so will be sued for the money owed. He states he can not stand nor walk. Again, this is refuted by the hospital. Top
Marshall v Catholic Health
After a three week trial the first trial balloon fell to earth with a clop. The jury deliberated for one hour and said the physicians and hospital did nothing wrong. This is the first of the 12 trial cases to see the tone for a class action suit. It is interesting that one of the defendant physicians has been convicted of health care fraud for unnecessary stent placements but was still found not guilty in this case.
Karolinska Institute of Sweden v
The Institute that decides the Nobel prize for medicine has been asked to investigate Paolo Macchiarini, a visiting professor who operated on three patients at the Institute. The accusations state that he did not get ethical approvals for experimental operations and misled medical journals about the succdess of the operations. He removed diseased tracheas and replaced them with plastic and treated with stem cells. The three patients have done poorly. Two have died and one remains in the hospital for over two years and needs a procedure every 2-3 hours to clean out her airway. The complaints came from other physicians associated with the surgery.
US v Trident Health Services
Trident paid $40,000 for not doing a screening exam on a patient who came to the ED via ambulance and was transferred to another hospital since Trident had a "no trespass" order on him. Expensive order and dumb.
US v DCH Regional Medical Center
The Tuscaloosa, Alabama hospital paid $40,000 to settle the EMTALA case. A patient came to the ED with a GSW of the abdomen. The ER physician requested a general surgical evaluation. the on call surgeon was doing an elective operation in the OR and then did a second one without evaluation of the patient. The patient died and never got a screening exam from a surgeon. Top
DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.