Federal Judge Denies Doctors’ Motion to End Contracts with Health Plan of the Redwoods
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Santa Rosa yesterday denied a motion filed by 17 physicians to end their contracts with Health Plan of the Redwoods, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports (Rose, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/2). About 40 doctors -- specialists whom HPR reimburses on a fee-for-service basis -- have asked for release from their contracts with the health plan, which filed for federal bankruptcy protection on May 31. The doctors said they have had to "shoulder an unfair portion" of HPR's $23 million debt and "simply can't afford to continue" with the health plan without reimbursement for services (California Healthline, 6/28). In the decision, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Alan Jaroslovsky ruled that the physicians "must honor their contracts" with HPR. According to the Press Democrat, the decision provides "some stability" to HPR and ensures that the health plan will not "immediately hemorrhage doctors at the very moment it needs them to keep treating patients." However, Michael Fallon, an attorney for the 17 physicians, predicted that the doctors "will ultimately win because they are being held to contracts that ensure they will be financially harmed." The court will consider several other motions filed by the doctors on July 29 (Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 7/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.