Health Care Lawsuit Moves Forward

Date: October 19, 2007

A federal lawsuit claiming some of the largest hospitals in Kansas City tried to drive a specialty clinic out of business is moving forward. U.S. District Judge Monti Belot this week refused a request to throw out the lawsuit, which was filed in 2005 by Heartland Spine and Specialty Hospital of Overland Park. The case is set for trial in April in Wichita. Heartland claims the hospitals conspired to prevent Heartland from receiving managed-care contracts. Hospitals across the country have fought physician-owned clinics, saying they cherry pick the most lucrative patients. The suit says managed-care companies that are also defendants in the case agreed to boycott Heartland in return for paying lower fees to the hospitals for care.

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