Monday, July 06, 2015

Classy, no?

This story demonstrates some pretty ugly things about the Boston healthcare market.  Admittedly the story originates from the successful law firm, but the facts seem pretty clear:

BOSTON, June 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 29, 2015, the Suffolk Superior Court issued a ruling in favor of Whittier IPA, Inc. ("Whittier"), an association of doctors based in Newburyport, in litigation against Steward Health Care Network, Inc. ("Steward"). In September 2014, Whittier, represented by the law firm Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP, filed an action entitled Whittier IPA, Inc. v. Steward Health Care Network, Inc., No. 2014-3029 in the Business Litigation Session of the Suffolk Superior Court. The complaint alleges, among other things, that in connection with Whittier's decision last year to affiliate with Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization instead of Steward, Steward breached its contract with Whittier by depriving Whittier of millions of dollars in incentive payments earned pursuant to Payor contracts.

The Court's ruling yesterday denied Steward's motion to dismiss the complaint and allowed Whittier's cross-motion for partial summary judgment. The Court declared that "if incentive payments have been received by SHCN from Payors in respect of reporting periods during which Whittier was a member of SHCN, SHCN breached its contract with Whittier by failing to pay Whittier its pro rata share of those payments." 

Whittier's President, Dr. Salman Ghiasuddin, said, "We are extremely pleased with the Court's ruling. The Court has decided in no uncertain terms that Whittier is entitled to the relief it is seeking in the lawsuit."

To translate. Whittier was previously affiliated with Steward and, while it was, produced clinical results that merited incentive payments from insurers.  When Whittier decided to join another network, Steward decided to withhold those funds.

Classy behavior, no?

What a waste of time, effort, and money both to have to pursue and defend against the claims raised in this case.  Those are resources that would otherwise could have been used for patient care.

1 comment:

Nashoba Nurses said...

I am an emergency department nurse who works for Steward Health Care at Nashoba Valley Medical Center. They are currently laying off three nurses in our department to eliminate 12 hours of direct patient care in the ER. This will cause our department to have NO TRAIGE NURSE until 3pm every day!! We are a small community hospital, with limited ancillary staff as it is and we are looking for all the support we can get to try to stop this layoff from going through. PLEASE take a minute to sign and possibly share this petition. Thank you in advance!!