April 20, 1999 |
Three Aetna Inc. members and a consumer group sued the giant health-maintenance organization, claiming false advertising. It was believed to be the first lawsuit against an HMO under a federal anti-racketeering law. The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims Aetna attracted potential customers by saying it was dedicated to quality medical care. Instead, the suit alleges, the company encourages systemwide cost cutting that undermines medical care.
March 30, 1998 |
Los Angeles-based Maxicare Health Plans Inc. said its board of directors has unanimously approved a plan to protect the managed-care company from a lawsuit filed by a shareholder. Paul R. Dupee Jr., who holds a 3.9% stake, wants a U.S. District Court to approve his plan to add 10 members--including directors who would explore a sale of the company--to Maxicare's seven-person board.
June 12, 1997 |
Plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Hiepler has made a career out of battling California HMOs, winning several high-profile judgments and earning a reputation for employing new legal weapons in his cases. The Oxnard attorney gained national attention in 1993 for winning an $89.1-million verdict--later settled for a lesser sum--against Health Net on behalf of his late sister, Nelene Fox, over the HMO's refusal to pay for a bone marrow transplant to treat her breast cancer.
May 17, 1997 |
In a scathing review of one of California's largest dental HMOs, state regulators Friday accused Western Dental Services of providing "shoddy, dangerous" medical care and showing a "contemptuous disregard" for patients, many of whom are poor or speak little English. "While this type of assembly line operation may be perfectly acceptable in the meatpacking industry, it has absolutely no place in the practice of dentistry," a lawsuit by the state Department of Corporations declares.
January 30, 1997 |
A federal appeals court has reinstated the legal claims of 20 anesthesiologists who challenged an HMO's authority to dictate standards of patient care. The three-judge panel of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal Judge Denise Cote in New York was wrong to throw out the antitrust lawsuit the doctors filed against Aetna Health Plans Inc.
October 18, 1995 |
A three-member arbitration panel has slapped the state's second-largest health maintenance organization with a $1-million judgment for improperly denying a breast-cancer patient a bone-marrow transplant and then pressuring her doctor to reverse his support of the treatment. The latter action by Health Net, the arbitrators found, amounted to "extreme and outrageous behavior exceeding all bounds usually tolerated in a civilized society."