FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on March 2 granted summary judgment in favor of a nursing facility in its suit against another nursing facility for breach of contract for the defendant's failure to pay for the transfer of Medicaid certification rights that the defendant had sought so it could increase the number of comprehensive care beds it could obtain reimbursement for by Medicaid (Lutheran Homes Inc. v. Lock Realty Corporation IX, No. 14-102, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24588).
CHICAGO - A trial judge did not err in instructing a jury on both institutional and professional negligence in a suit alleging that the death of an elderly woman was the result of negligence on the part of a nursing home and its staff, the Illinois Appellate Court for the First Judicial District ruled Feb. 27 (William M. Groeller Jr. v. The Evergreen Health Care Center LLC, No. 1-14-0932, Ill. App., 1st Jud. Dist.)
BOSTON - A New York operator of skilled nursing facilities has entered into an agreement with the United States to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations concerning inflated Medicare claims for rehabilitation therapy, according to a March 2 news release issued by the U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts.
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 25 declined to dismiss a suit in which the plaintiff accused his health insurance company of breach of contract for allegedly wrongfully informing him that the effective date of his coverage was later than it really was, causing the plaintiff to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer later than necessary (Kent Wilson v. Humana Health Plan Inc., No. 14-3259, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22672).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House of Representatives' role as controller of the purse strings gives it sufficient injury to challenge the administration's alleged misallocation of public funds related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans told a federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 27 (United States House of Representatives v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-1967, D. D.C.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Feb. 27 dismissed a health care reimbursement suit, saying that the plaintiff failed to follow administrative procedures for the Medicaid-related claims and that federal law preempted the common-law claims related to the Medicare-based claims (MHS LLC, D/B/A Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center v. Healthfirst Inc., et al., No. 13-6036, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23699).
CHICAGO - A divided Illinois appeals court on Feb. 27 reversed and vacated the judgment of a trial court granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and class certification in a health care subrogation dispute, saying the plaintiff had no right to rely on the common fund doctrine to support her claims (Nelli Stefanski v. The City of Chicago, No. 1-13-2844, Ill. App., 1st Dist. 6th Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 133).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Feb. 26 denied a man's motion to dismiss his insurance company's lawsuit accusing him of violating the Illinois Insurance Fraud Statute and stayed the case for the company to assert a portion of its allegations as a counterclaim to a separate suit brought by the defendant accusing the company of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Concert Health Plan Insurance Company v. James E. Killian, No. 14 C 4697, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23195).
NEW YORK - The federal government provided sufficient evidence to a jury that a female doctor was only a paper owner of a New York medical clinic who made material misrepresentations to insurance companies as part of a conspiracy to commit health care fraud, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 26 in denying the defendant's motion for acquittal or new trial (United States of America v. Tatyana Gabinskaya, No. 12-cr-171 JPO, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23343).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not preempt a New York state anti-subrogation law that prohibits insurers from obtaining reimbursement of medical benefits from participants' tort settlements (The Rawlings Company, et al. v. Megan Wurtz, et al., No. 14-487, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 let stand a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a multiemployer welfare benefits plan may seek reimbursement of health benefits paid on behalf of a plan participant who later received a third-party settlement because the plan language established an equitable lien by agreement (Bernard McLaughlin v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, No. 14-626, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied certiorari, leaving stand a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision holding that the Medicare as a Secondary Payer Act (MSP Act) authorizes the government to seek reimbursement from a settlement a plaintiff receives from a tortfeasor because the funds came from a "primary plan" and that the plaintiff cannot invoke a New Jersey state law to avoid her reimbursement obligations (Cecelia A. Taransky v. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 14-758, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 declined to grant certiorari, which left standing an agreement reached in In re Managed Care Litigation that bars several physicians and physician groups from bringing claims against WellPoint Inc. in In re WellPoint, Inc. Out-of-Network "UCR" Rates Litigation under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Sherman Act but not from bringing certain claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Medical Association of Georgia, et al. v. Wellpoint Inc., No. 14-554, U.S. Sup.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 20 declined to dismiss antitrust claims in a suit alleging that health insurers conspired with hospitals to drive multiple ambulatory surgical centers out of business (Arapahoe Surgery Center, et al. v. CIGNA Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 13-3422, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20488).
MIAMI - A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Feb. 17 recommended accepting a home health care clinic owner's guilty plea in a $13 million Medicare fraud scheme, finding that the defendant was capable and competent in entering an informed plea (United States of America v. Alexander Lara, No. 15-cr-20029-KMM, S.D. Fla.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Feb. 13 denied a motion filed by a number of chiropractic centers and their owners, seeking dismissal of a lawsuit brought by numerous insurance companies claiming that the defendants submitted fraudulent bills under Minnesota's No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, finding that the insurers sufficiently pleaded claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Minnesota's Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine (CPMD) (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company, et al. v. Acute Care Chiropractic Clinic P.A., et al., No. 14-cv-2651, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17933).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A man lacks standing to pursue a suit accusing a government official of fraudulently concocting a fiscal note to torpedo a Tennessee bill blocking implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a federal judge held Feb. 18 (Louie E. Johnston Jr. v. Lucien C. Geise, executive director, Tennessee General Assembly's Fiscal Review Commission and JOHN DOE[s], No. 14-1425, M.D. Tenn.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Right to Life Michigan's action challenging implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate will proceed after a federal judge lifted his stay of the case on Feb. 17 (Right to Life of Michigan v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 13-1202, W.D. Mich.).
MIAMI - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 13 declined to rehear a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) case, leaving stand a divided panel's conclusion that an orthodontist lacked standing to challenge delayed implementation of the law's employer mandate (Kawa Orthodontics LLP v. Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury, et al., No. 14-10296, 11th Cir.).
TACOMA, Wash. - Upon remand by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Washington federal judge on Feb. 13 determined that the supplier of a piece of durable medical equipment used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee was not entitled to the benefits of any of Medicare's "limited liability" provisions (International Rehabilitative Sciences Inc. v. Sylvia M. Burwell, No. 08-5442, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18122).
PHILADELPHIA - The accommodation through which those who object to the contraceptive mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) can avoid providing or paying for the insurance coverage does not burden religious practice, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Feb. 11 (Geneva College, et al. v. HHS, et al., 13-3536, Geneva College, Wayne L. Hepler, et al. v. HHS, et al., No. 14-1374, Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, et al. v. HHS, et al., No. 14-1376, Most Reverend David A. Zubik, et al. v. HHS, et al., No. 14-1377, 3rd Cir.).
LOS ANGELES - The general manager of a California ambulance company was sentenced to 78 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution by a federal judge in California on Feb. 9 for his role in a $5.5 million scheme to defraud Medicare (United States of America v. Wesley H. Kingsbury, 12-cr-903, C.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Iowa home health care facility agreed to pay $5.6 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false billing claims to Medicare and Medicaid in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA), the U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 10.
LOS ANGELES - A California resident on Feb. 9 filed a class action lawsuit in federal court accusing Anthem Inc. of violating, among other things, the state's unfair competition law (UCL) in failing to safeguard personal information contained on the defendant's information technology (IT) systems after a massive breach of the company's systems (John Doe v. Anthem Inc., et al., No. 15-934, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 9 allowed a fraud claim to continue in a health care reimbursement suit, but dismissed three other claims (Mountain View Surgical Center v. CIGNA Health Corp., No. 13-8083, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15320).