March 27, 2009
Requiring health insurers to be more open about how they set reimbursement rates for out-of-network medical services would save everyone money, the top U.S. doctors group told Congress on Thursday.
American Medical Association President Nancy Nielsen said such a move would prevent insurance companies from shortchanging patients and upsetting their relationship with their doctors by underestimating what doctors should be charging for services.
“The AMA believes enormous savings would accrue to patients, physicians, health insurers and other third-party payers if there were complete transparency,” she told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
Insurer reimbursement rates for out-of-network services are often set at what are considered “usual” or “customary” charges. The problem for doctors and patients is that insurers have been systematically underestimating those charges, Nielsen said.
Read Article: Reuters
A now-12-year-old Temecula boy who fell from a fast-food restaurant’s play structure and struck his head, causing brain damage, was awarded a $20 million settlement from the franchise’s parent company, his attorney said today.
The money was awarded to Jacob Buckett and his sister, Isabelle, who was 5 at the time of Jacob’s fall at the Temecula restaurant on Aug. 4, 2005. The structure was inside the restaurant and there was no rubber beneath the bars, just tile, according to Jacob’s attorney, Christopher Aitken.
The defendants, the restaurant franchisee, parent company and playground
manufacturer, were not named because of the settlement’s confidentiality
clause but according to the Web site momlogic.com, the restaurant was a Burger
Read Article: The Desert Sun
Attorneys representing nearly 400 people who live near the Battlefield Golf Club at Centerville say they will file a lawsuit Friday in Chesapeake Circuit Court seeking a jury trial and damages in excess of $1 billion.
The defendants named in the suit include Dominion Virginia Power, which supplied 1.5 million tons of fly ash used to contour the golf course; CPM Virginia LLC, the developers of the course; and VFL Technology Corp., described as Dominion’s coal-ash management consultant.
The suit’s demands include the removal of all fly ash from the site; installation of public water and sewer; the cleaning of the aquifer under the course; compensation for lost property values and personal injury; and the establishment of a fund for medical monitoring and treatment costs.
Last fall, Dominion committed to pay up to $6 million to extend city water to residences near the golf course.
Read Article: Virginian Pilot
Led by Democrats, the House voted Thursday to repeal Michigan’s lawsuit immunity law for pharmaceutical companies.
Democrats said the bills would give those harmed by FDA-approved drugs legal recourse, while Republicans said they would create an antibusiness climate. House Democrats have made the state’s 13-year-old drug immunity law an issue since 2005, and used it as a campaign hammer that may have helped them pad their House majority in November.
Democrats call the lawsuit shield law the nation’s strictest protection for the drug industry. Similar attempts in the past died in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Read Article: Detroit Free Press
B&H electronics retailer in New York City has settled a job discrimination lawsuit on behalf of 149 Latino warehouse workers for $4.3 million.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday a federal judge in Manhattan approved the settlement. The federal agency had accused B&H of paying the Manhattan and Brooklyn workers less than other workers, and denying them promotions and health benefits because they were Latino.
The EEOC plans to monitor B&H for five years. The EEOC also settled two other lawsuits. One was for $300,000 with Adelphi University, which the agency had accused of paying women professors less than their male counterparts.
Read Article: Forbes
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