Health & Insurance

Lawsuit alleges Crown Hill illegally solicited people in hospitals, care facilities

September 28, 2015
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s largest cemetery illegally made direct solicitations to people in hospitals, mental health facilities and other care settings, alleges a class-action lawsuit  filed Monday in Indianapolis.
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Hospital group favors raising limit on medical malpractice damages

September 23, 2015
Dave Stafford
Proposals to increase the state-imposed $1.25 million cap on damages in medical malpractice cases have some unlikely supporters: Indiana hospitals.
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Indy nonprofit, law firm help curb childhood diseases

September 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lauren Braun has been helping safeguard the health of children in impoverished countries for years. A small band she’s developed could bring those efforts full circle with a pro bono assist from a small band of Indianapolis lawyers.
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7th Circuit stops collection of hospital assessment fee

August 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
St. Catherine Hospital was successful in getting a reprieve from a dispute with the state of Indiana over the hospital assessment fee.  
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COA finds medical provider made ‘reasonable effort’

August 25, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Telling the victim’s father it could not infer legislative intent, the Indiana Court of Appeals found a mental health care treatment center did comply with the state’s statutory requirements.
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Indiana clears Planned Parenthood of wrongdoing after videos

July 31, 2015
 Associated Press
Indiana on Thursday cleared Planned Parenthood facilities that perform abortions in the state of any wrongdoing in the handling of fetal tissue.
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Lawyers applaud proposed changes to child support guidelines

July 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The passage and implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act is underlying a proposal to rid Indiana’s child support guidelines of a loophole and complicated health insurance worksheet.
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Involuntary commitment vacated for lack of evidence

July 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
An Indianapolis woman was improperly ordered committed for mental illness, but there was insufficient evidence she was gravely disabled, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. The decision further emphasizes the need for clear and convincing evidence of grave disability to support a commitment.
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The ACA lives on: Supreme Court maintains the status quo

July 15, 2015
Tara Sciscoe, Christopher Sears
Like a cat with nine lives, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has survived its second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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MDL panel picks California for Anthem lawsuits

July 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indianapolis law firms that filed suit against the insurance giant after massive cyberbreach are surprised cases won’t be tried in Indiana
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Community Health to pay $20M to settle false claims charges

June 30, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, J.K. Wall
Community Health Network has agreed to pay $20.3 million to settle claims from state and federal authorities that it overbilled for outpatient surgeries, according to an announcement Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Justice.
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SCOTUS upholds nationwide health care law subsidies

June 25, 2015
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.
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Former nursing home employee faces forgery, fraud charges

June 15, 2015
 Associated Press
A former employee at a southeastern Indiana nursing home faces charges alleging that she bilked the home's elderly residents out of nearly $10,000 in Medicare funds.
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Care facility’s petition for judicial review barred by res judicata

June 10, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A Merrillville nursing facility’s third petition seeking judicial review of the state Department of Health’s decision to deny a full license to the facility was barred by a previous petition for judicial review of the matter, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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How law firms use Facebook and other data to track down medical victims

May 27, 2015
 Bloomberg News
For ambulance chasers, persistence and a phone book just don’t cut it anymore. Law firms, which once relied on television commercials, billboards, and cold calling numbers in the white pages to find plaintiffs for medical lawsuits, have begun to embrace technology. To locate their ideal pharma victims more quickly and at lower costs, they're using data compiled from Facebook, marketing firms, and public sources, with help from digital bounty hunters.
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Fallout from Supreme Court case on Obamacare could be 'ugly'

May 26, 2015
 Associated Press
A Supreme Court ruling due in a few weeks could wipe out health insurance for millions of people covered by President Barack Obama's health care law. But it's Republicans — not White House officials — who have been talking about damage control.
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Do-over expected to bring same result in contraception case

May 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
In a second round of oral arguments regarding the University of Notre Dame’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals not only remained dubious of the school’s assertions but also seemed perplexed as to why the case came back to the court.
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Parents of autistic children gird for showdown with Anthem

May 6, 2015
Indianapolis Business Journal, J.K. Wall
A showdown is brewing over autism therapy in Indiana. After an Elkhart couple with an autistic son sued Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in April, autism families around the state have started a campaign to get Anthem to change its policy for covering therapy for school-age children.
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Lawsuit claims IU Health, midwifery practice risked lives

April 17, 2015
 Associated Press
A federal whistleblower lawsuit says IU Health and midwifery practice HealthNet defrauded the government of millions of dollars and put low-income pregnant women at risk.
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SCOTUS sides with Idaho in Medicaid pay dispute

March 31, 2015
 Associated Press
Private health care providers cannot sue to force states to raise their Medicaid reimbursement rates to keep up with rising medical costs, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Tuesday.
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Medical-Legal partnership gets national honor

March 27, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Five years after its founding, the Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health Medical-Legal Partnership in Indianapolis is being recognized with a 2015 Outstanding MLP Award from the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.
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Pence set to sign ‘right to try’ trial drugs bill

March 24, 2015
 Associated Press
A proposal to give terminally ill patients in Indiana easier access to experimental drugs not yet on pharmacy shelves is about to become law.
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Justices reverse Marine veteran's involuntary commitment

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A Marine veteran was wrongly committed for mental health treatment, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices reversed a trial court involuntary commitment order affirmed in a memorandum Court of Appeals opinion and swept away precedent in similar cases.
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Poll: Public unaware Obama's health law is again in jeopardy

March 19, 2015
 Associated Press
With a decision due by summer in a Supreme Court of the United States case that could unravel President Barack Obama's health care law, a new poll finds many Americans have heard nothing about the case.
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NDLS hosting symposium on life, death and disease

March 17, 2015
IL Staff
An upcoming Notre Dame Law School symposium on regulating life, disease and death will feature a keynote speaker discussing legal preparedness for Ebola.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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