California Lawyers Association

Business Law Health Law Committee

Updates from the BLS Health Law Committee

Physician may pursue whistleblower suit—alleging hospital’s exclusive staffing agreement was retaliatory—without first seeking writ relief. Read more
John Jarman stayed three months at an HCR ManorCare skilled nursing facility while recovering from hip surgery. About two years later, Jarman sued HCR, alleging violations of the “Patients Bill of Rights” (Health & Saf. Code, § 1430, subd. (b) (section 1430(b)), elder abuse, neglect, and negligence. Read more
Elizabeth Holley became a patient at the Silverado Senior Living facility when she was 77 years old and suffering from dementia and other medical problems. Diane and James Holley became Elizabeth’s temporary conservators. Read more
The Department of Health Services (DHS) administers California’s Medi-Cal program and reimburses Medi-Cal hospital service providers for allowable costs. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues the Medicare Provider Reimbursement Manual, which governs what payments are owed. Read more
Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination in the healthcare system by incorporating four nondiscrimination statutes—including the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits certain types of disability discrimination. Andrea Schmitt, who has a severe hearing loss disability, filed a class action against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, alleging that it unlawfully discriminated against her and other hearing-disabled plan members by excluding all hearing loss treatments except cochlear implants. Read more
Ben-E-Lect, a third party insurance claim administrator, developed a “wrapping” strategy for reducing employer health insurance costs by bundling low-premium, high-deductible health insurance with self-funded accounts to pay employee healthcare expenses within the annual deductible and any co-pay requirements. Ben-E-Lect sold its wrapping services through insurance brokers and agents to the small-employer market. Read more
After a surgical sponge was inadvertently left inside a patient, the State Department of Public Health fined Saint Francis Memorial Hospital for failing to develop and implement a sponge count procedure and a policy for properly training its staff. Saint Francis sought administrative review. Read more
Matthew Wicks went to Antelope Valley Hospital’s emergency room for stomach, chest, and neck pain. Hospital nurses and two independent contractor ER doctors evaluated him. He was then discharged with instructions to see a cardiologist the next day, but he died eight hours later from an acute aorta dissection. Read more
Ruth Goros sued Kindred Healthcare, which operated the nursing home where she lived, for failing to provide timely treatment after she suffered a stroke. Goros argued that Kindred’s negligence caused her “permanent and irreversible [and eventually fatal] brain damage.” Kindred moved for summary judgment as to causation, supporting its motion with a neurologist’s declaration that Kindred’s conduct was unrelated to Goros’s injuries. Read more
Agreeing with its sister circuits in a case of first impression, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the terms of a contract alone cannot require a court to grant equitable relief where there is an adequate monetary remedy at law. Barranco v. 3D Systems Corporation, 2020 WL 1179728 (9th Cir. 3/12/20). Read more

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