HMO class action suit another step closer to trial

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Dec. 6, 2004

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Doctors suing the nation's HMOs don't need to arbitrate their claims against the companies, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in November. The court, upholding a lower court ruling, said arbitration clauses in some physicians' contracts can't be used to force doctors to arbitrate disputes they never agreed to arbitrate.

The managed care companies being sued had argued that the lawsuits against them should not be allowed to go forward as a class action and instead physicians with arbitration agreements in their contracts should have to arbitrate with the companies.

The appellate court decision likely will mean the doctors' lawsuits, which have been combined before one judge, will go ahead on schedule, said Archie Lamb, co-lead counsel of the national class action lawsuit. A trial is scheduled in a federal court in Miami for March 2005.

Physicians and organized medicine filed lawsuits against the largest health plans claiming that the companies, among other things, paid doctors unfairly.

Aetna and CIGNA have reached settlement agreements with the doctors. The November ruling applies to the remaining defendants in the case.

Those defendants are Pacificare Health Systems, Humana, Coventry Health Care, Anthem Health Plans, Prudential Insurance Co. of America, United Healthcare, United Health Group, Human Health Plan and WellPoint Health Networks.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn