Class action suits look for answers after Laser Spine Institute's abrupt closure — 7 insights

The ramifications of Tampa, Fla.-based Laser Spine Institute's abrupt closure are vast, with employees and patients searching for answers, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

What you should know:

1. Two class action lawsuits — one representing up to 1,000 employees across the U.S. — were filed in Tampa on behalf of the Institute's employees. The suits allege Laser Spine Institute violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act by not giving employees at least 60-days’ notice.

2. Laser Spine Institute laid off its entire workforce the same day it ceased operations March 1.

3. The class action suits seek 60 days' pay and benefits from the company.

4. Laser Spine Institute cited a lack of funding as the reason behind its closure. Before closing, the practice reached out to other surgical providers to see if they could accommodate patients with scheduled surgeries or patients seeking postoperative consults. 

5. Several competing practices or providers are working to help the former employees and patients as well. Tampa Bay-based Physicians Partners of America is expected to hold a job fair March 6 for former Institute employees and PPA is working to accommodate patients.

6. Spine Center Atlanta, too, is working to accommodate former patients.

"We can take virtual spine appointments from literally anyway. If they like what they hear, they can fly here for surgery," SCA Founder James Chappuis, MD, told the Tampa Bay Times. "If a patient recently had surgery and needs postop follow-up care, we are willing to do that free of charge. It just seems like the right thing to do."

Atlanta-based Resurgens Spine Center is also accepting former LSI patients. Resurgens is offering expedited appointments and will assist with getting a patient's medical files. 

7. Concerning pending payments, A Laser Spine spokeswoman told the Tampa Bay Times patients should continue to pay their bills but didn't clarify if the Institute would reach out to them with future steps.

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