Articles Posted in Health Care Law

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The Louisiana Supreme Court granted this writ application to determine whether a plaintiff had a private right of action for damages against a health care provider under the Health Care and Consumer Billing and Disclosure Protection Act. Plaintiff Yana Anderson alleged that she was injured in an automobile accident caused by a third party. She received medical treatment at an Ochsner facility. Anderson was insured by UnitedHealthcare. Pursuant to her insurance contract, Anderson paid premiums to UnitedHealthcare in exchange for discounted health care rates. These reduced rates were available pursuant to a member provider agreement, wherein UnitedHealthcare contracted with Ochsner to secure discounted charges for its insureds. Anderson presented proof of insurance to Ochsner in order for her claims to be submitted to UnitedHealthcare for payment on the agreed upon reduced rate. However, Ochsner refused to file a claim with her insurer. Instead, Ochsner sent a letter to Anderson’s attorney, asserting a medical lien for the full amount of undiscounted charges on any tort recovery Anderson received for the underlying automobile accident. Anderson filed a putative class action against Ochsner, seeking, among other things, damages arising from Ochsner’s billing practices. Upon review of the matter, the Supreme Court found the legislature intended to allow a private right of action under the statute. Additionally, the Court found an express right of action was available under La. R.S. 22:1874(B) based on the assertion of a medical lien. View "Anderson v. Ochsner Health System" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed an action individually and on behalf of a class of persons similarly situated against Respondents, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) and CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, asserting causes of action for breach of duty of confidentiality, invasion of privacy, and negligence for placing Plaintiffs’ personal and medical information on a specific CAMC electronic database and website that was accessible to the public. The circuit court denied class certification, finding that Plaintiffs did not meet the prerequisites for class certification and that Plaintiffs lacked standing to sue Respondents. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred in finding that Petitioners lacked standing and abused its discretion in ruling that Petitioners failed to meet the requirements for class certification. Remanded.View "Tabata v. Charleston Area Med. Ctr." on Justia Law

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Theresa Holbrook requested her medical records from Millard Henry Clinic. Healthport, Inc., a private company that had a contract with Millard Henry Clinic to fulfill such requests, obtained copies of Holbrook’s requested medical records. Healthport subsequently sent Holbrook invoices for the records, including sales tax. Holbrook, individually and on behalf of all other Arkansans similarly situated, filed a class-action complaint seeking damages and requesting that the court find, inter alia, that Healthport illegally collected sales taxes for retrieving and copying her medical records. Holbrook later filed an amended complaint containing allegations against the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. The circuit court granted Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment and denied Holbrook’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in determining that the gross-receipts-tax statute imposes a sales tax on a patient’s ability to obtain a copy of the patient’s own medical records; and (2) the Arkansas Access to Medical Records Act does not exempt a patient’s request for copies of the patient’s medical information from any otherwise applicable tax or charge.View "Holbrook v. Healthport, Inc." on Justia Law