LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Supreme Court Justice Halts Birth Control Mandate For Catholic Group

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Dec. 31 temporarily blocked the federal government from enforcing the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) against an order of Catholic nuns at the request of the group after a lower court denied a motion for a preliminary injunction in a case challenging the mandate (Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13A691, U.S. Sup.).

    N.Y. Federal Judge Dismisses Medicare Provider Termination Suit

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Dec. 17 dismissed a suit challenging the termination of a Medicare and Medicaid provider agreement without a pretermination hearing and other administrative review procedures, saying the termination was proper (Blossom South v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-6452, W.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176996).

    California Federal Judge Remands Reimbursement Suit, Finds No Preemption Exists

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 16 remanded a reimbursement dispute to state court, holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the state law claims (Bay Area Surgical Management v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-2512, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176682).

    Judge Grants Injunction, Dismisses Plaintiffs In Birth Control Suit

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Dec. 16 granted non-Diocesan plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment as to their Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) claim and issued a preliminary injunction in their favor in a challenge to the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) but granted the government's motion for summary judgment as to claims made by Diocesan plaintiffs (The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, No. 12-2542, E.D. N.Y.).

    Split Montana High Court Reverses Certification Of Class Question In Benefits Suit

    HELENA, Mont. - A split Montana Supreme Court on Dec. 13 upheld a state court's order defining the class in a suit challenging the denial of a preauthorization request for a medical procedure but reversed and remanded with respect to the court's certification of the plaintiffs' claim as to "$(w$)hether the State of Montana breached its contract" and remanded to allow the court to consider whether a question could be presented where individual questions would not predominate (Steve Sangwin, et al. v. State of Montana, et al., No. 12-0712, Mont. Sup.; 2013 Mont. LEXIS 496).

    New Jersey Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal Of Denial-Of-Benefits Suit

    TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals court on Dec. 11 affirmed the dismissal of a wrongful-denial-of-health-benefits suit, saying that the plaintiff brought his challenge of the final decision denying the benefits in the wrong court (Irvin B. Beaver v. Magellan Health Services Inc., No. A-1311-12T3, N.S. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 175).

    Supreme Court Rules On Limitations Period In ERISA Denial Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Dec. 16 that the contractual limitations provision of a disability benefits plan that requires participants to bring suit within three years after "proof of loss" is due is enforceable under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, even if the limitations period commences before the plan resolved the claim for benefits (Julie Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-729, U.S. Sup.).

    Federal Judge Certifies Class Of Health Care Purchasers In Hospital Merger Case

    CHICAGO - End payers who purchased inpatient and outpatient health care services directly from NorthShore University HealthSystem and alleged that NorthShore illegally monopolized the market for such services following the merger of hospitals demonstrated that class adjudication of the antitrust claims was superior, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Dec. 10 in granting the purchasers' motion for class certification (In re: Evanston Northwestern Corporation Antitrust Litigation, No. 07-cv-04446, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173794).

    Catholic Groups Ask For Temporary Restraining Order In Birth Control Suit

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Multiple Catholic organizations on Dec. 10 asked a New York federal judge to grant a temporary restraining order barring implementation and enforcement of the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) until the court can rule on their motion for a preliminary injunction (The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, No. 12-2542, E.D. N.Y.).

    Government Urges Appeals Court To Affirm Dismissal Of Individual Mandate Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government on Dec. 9 urged the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a decision dismissing a suit challenging payments made to the Internal Revenue Service related to the individual mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) decision (Matt Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 13-5202, D.C. Cir.).

    Conn. Federal Judge Grants Injunction To Halt Termination Of Medicare Contracts

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 5 granted a preliminary injunction to keep a health insurance company group from terminating approximately 2,200 physicians from its Medicare Advantage program (Fairfield County Medical Association, et al. v. United Healthcare of New England, et al., No. 13-1621, D. Conn.).

    Connecticut Federal Judge Denies Injunction In Medicare Classification Suit

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 6 held that the court has jurisdiction to hear a hospital's challenge of whether the regulatory scheme governing the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) violates the Medicare Act and the Administrative Procedure Act but denied the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction to halt the defendants from applying the scheme to its current and future reclassification applications (Lawrence & Memorial Hospital v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-1495, D. Conn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172120).

    New Jersey High Court Won't Review Ruling That ERISA Preempts Hospital's Claims

    TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Dec. 6 denied a petition for certification of a Superior Court ruling that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 514(a) expressly preempts a medical provider's claims against the ERISA plan for payment of the provider's customary fees for the services it rendered to patients, rather than the discounted fees the plan would have been legally entitled to pay had it not breached its contractual obligation for timely payment (St. Peter's University Hospital v. New Jersey Building Laborers Statewide Welfare Fund, et al. v. Union Labor Life Insurance Company, No. C-224 September Term 2013, N.J. Sup.).

    Judge Remands Denial Of Chiropractic Claims To Administrator Under ERISA

    DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado ruled Dec. 3 that the third-party administrator of the NFL Player Insurance Plan abused its discretion in denying claims for chiropractic treatment as being work-related without considering the medical provider's opinion (Nelson Vetanze v. NFL Player Insurance Plan, No. 1:11-cv-02734, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170312).

    9th Circuit: Nursing Facility Did Not Follow Medicare's Supervision Requirements

    SAN FRANCISCO - In an unpublished opinion, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a citation and fine issued to a skilled nursing facility for improperly failing to monitor a patient as required by Medicare laws (Del Rosa Villa v. Kathleen Sebelius, No. 12-71685, 9th Cir; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23796).

    Oklahoma Federal Magistrate Judge Declines To Dismiss Denial Of Benefits Suit

    MUSKOGEE, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal magistrate judge on Nov. 26 denied a motion to dismiss a wrongful denial of health care benefits case (Samuel Howard Logan Jr. v. Healthcare International Global Networks, et al., No. 13-144, E.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167631).

    High Court Agrees To Hear 2 Challenges To Birth Control Mandate

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 26 announced that it granted certiorari in two cases challenging the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Both of the cases involve for-profit companies opposed to the mandate on religious grounds. In one of the cases, the lower court granted a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the mandate, and in the other case, the lower court denied a preliminary injunction (Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-354, U.S. Sup.; Conestoga Woods Specialties Corp., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-356, U.S. Sup.).

    Manufacturer Asks 11th Circuit To Affirm Injunction In Birth Control Case

    ATLANTA - Plaintiffs challenging the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 20 to affirm the grant of a preliminary injunction in their favor (Beckwith Electric Co. Inc., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-13879, 11th Cir.).

    Catholic Organizations Oppose Dismissal Of Challenge To Birth Control Mandate

    DENVER - Catholic organizations challenging the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) moved in a Colorado federal court on Nov. 22 opposing dismissal of their case (Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-02611, D. Colo.).

    Pa. Federal Judge Grants Injunctions In 2 Challenges To Birth Control Mandate

    PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 21 granted motions for expedited preliminary injunctions in two separate cases brought by Catholic organizations challenging the birth control mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (Most Reverend David A. Zubik, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-1459, Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-303, W.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165922).

    West Virginia Supreme Court: No Right Of Action For Medicaid Dispute

    CHARLESTON, W. Va. - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Nov. 21 affirmed that a state statute does not provide for an express or implied private cause of action by a Medicaid provider for judicial review of reimbursement rates for medical services (Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc. v. West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, et al., No. 11-1187, W. Va. Sup.; 2013 W. Va. LEXIS 1338).

    1 Defendant Remains In Wrongful Denial Of Health Care Benefits Suit

    MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on Nov. 21 dismissed two defendants from a wrongful denial of benefits suit related to treatment covering autism spectrum disorder and partially dismissed claims against a third defendant (Tracy L. Reid, individually and on behalf of M.A.R. v. BCBSM Inc., et al., No. 12-3005, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165364).

    Tennessee Federal Judge Dismisses Medicare False Claims Case

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Nov. 18 dismissed a qui tam case in which the operator of multiple health care facilities was accused of submitting false claims to Medicare, saying the plaintiff failed to support his allegations (United States of America ex rel. Stephen McCullen v. Ascension Health, et al., No. 12-501, M.D. Tenn.).

    Nursing Home Operator To Pay $48 Million For Medicare False Billing

    LOS ANGELES - In two separate cases, skilled nursing provider Ensign Group Inc. agreed to pay $48 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly submitted Medicare false claims for medically unnecessary rehabilitation services, according to a Nov. 19 press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice (United States of America ex rel. Gloria Patterson v. Ensign Group Inc., No. 06-6956, United States of America ex rel. Carol Sanchez v. Ensign Group Inc., No. 06-0643, C.D. Calif.).

    New York Federal Judge Partially Dismisses Health Care Reimbursement Suit

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Nov. 14 partially granted the defendants' motion to dismiss a health care reimbursement dispute (Bridget M. Curran v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-289, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163162).