Medicare Billing Suits Tentatively Dismissed
A federal judge in Santa Ana on Thursday tentatively dismissed 24 lawsuits that alleged hospitals and nursing homes overbilled Medicare for treatment required to address medical errors or neglect, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Erin Brockovich this summer filed more than 30 lawsuits statewide under federal rules that in some cases permit citizens to bring lawsuits on behalf of the government.
The lawsuits did not cite evidence of the allegations, but cited federal reports that estimated that medical errors cost Medicare more than $9 billion annually.
U.S. District Judge David Carter ruled that Brockovich is not eligible to bring the suits because she had not experienced injuries from hospital errors. Carter also ruled that the cases could not be brought on the government's behalf (Yi, Los Angeles Times, 11/10).
Carter gave the same ruling last month when he dismissed five of the 37 cases filed by Brockovich (California Healthline, 11/1).
Brockovich said she would appeal the rulings.
The 29 dismissed cases represent the bulk of the lawsuits. The remaining cases are pending rulings in federal and state courts.
The dismissed cases involved:
- Adventist Health;
- Catholic Healthcare West;
- Country Villa Service;
- Kindred Healthcare;
- Longwood Management; and
- Tenet Healthcare (Los Angeles Times, 11/10).
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