Mid-Atlantic Health Law TOPICS

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Did You Know? Spring 2007

Union Forced Nurse Firings: Did you know that a union enforced the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that required a hospital to discharge nurses who do not pay union dues? In United Food & Commercial Workers' Union Local No. 655 v. St. John's Mercy Health Systems, the hospital refused to discharge the nurses, claiming that firing the reluctant nurses would violate a public policy that required a medical center to maintain adequate nurse staffing. The federal appellate court disagreed, noting that no such public policy exists in Missouri. The court not only affirmed the discharge of seventy-three nurses, but the hospital was also ordered to pay the overdue union dues.

National Provider Identifier Deadline: Did you know that the National Provider Identifier (NPI) number is the only provider number that can be used in electronic transactions starting May 23, 2007? To apply for your NPI go to https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov.

Post-Acute Care Demonstration Project: Did you know that the federal Department of Health and Human Services will begin a new demonstration project to evaluate cost-effective outcomes for post-acute care? Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the new post-acute care project must commence by January 1, 2008.

Uninsured Patients' Class Action: Did you know that the California class action against Sutter Health, in regard to alleged overcharging of the uninsured, settled in December of 2006? The settlement requires Sutter to offer discounts to uninsured patients, and to curtail collection practices like wage garnishments. Sutter may also ultimately have to pay approximately $275 million to uninsured patients and class attorneys.

Peer Reviewers' Personal Liability: Did you know that the Michigan Supreme Court, in Feyz v. Mercy Memorial Hospital, ruled that participants in peer review can lose their immunity from personal liability if they utilize and act on information known to be false?


March 20, 2007




Rosen, Barry F.


Health Care