CMA: Stands Its Ground on ‘Corporate Practice’ Issue
The California Medical Association has "balked at anything less than total victory" in its suit against University of California-Los Angeles Medical Center administrators, in which they charge that UCLA violated the state's "corporate practice of medicine" law by acquiring local physician practices, "effectively turning doctors into employees." Modern Healthcare reports that the CMA "scuttled an attempt to settle" the lawsuit and said at its annual meeting last month that it "will invest all necessary resources" in fighting the case. "This is an issue of drawing a line in the sand. It's not something we can afford to give up," said CMA Executive Director Dr. Jack Lewin. UCLA denies the charges and said the CMA "risk[s] having the whole corporate practice of medicine law thrown out." A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for April 30.
UCLA has been hit with a similar suit regarding its clinic network in Southern Californian. Nippon Medical Clinic, which caters to Japanese patients, charged UCLA and its West Bay Medical Group with "'unlawfully' competing with community-based physicians and falsely advertising that its doctors have significant academic roles and Japanese language skills" (Rauber, 4/19 issue).