Here are four anesthesiology lawsuits Becker's has reported on this year:
- In November, three anesthesia providers and several Georgia ASCs agreed to pay more than $28 million to resolve allegations that they entered kickback agreements. Atlanta-based Ambulatory Anesthesia of Atlanta and Northside Anesthesiology Consultants allegedly paid ASCs for medications, supplies, equipment and labor in exchange for patient referrals.
- Dallas-based U.S. Anesthesia Partners filed a lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare in March accusing the health insurer of forcing OptumCare ASCs and clinics to cut ties with it by forcing its physicians out of network and pressuring providers to refer patients away from the company. UnitedHealthcare told the New York Times that the lawsuit was meant to get the insurance company to pay higher rates for services.
- Fort Myers, Fla.-based Collier Anesthesia Pain and Tampa (Fla.) Pain Relief Clinic agreed to pay more than $1.6 million to settle alleged anti-kickback law violations. The clinics allegedly directed patients toward surgery centers where facility fee copayments were waived and submitted improper service claims.
- In January, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal request filed by San Antonio anesthesiologist Jaydeep Shah, DO, who claimed an exclusivity agreement for anesthesia services between Star Anesthesia and San Antonio-based Baptist Health System hurt his ability to practice.