Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mason v. Health Management Associates LLC

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlote Division

September 5, 2019

THOMAS L. MASON M.D. et. al., Plaintiffs,
v.
HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES LLC et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND RECOMMENDATION

          DAVID S. CAYER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the HMA Defendants' “Motion to Dismiss” (document #81), the EmCare Defendants' “Motion to Dismiss” (document #86), and “Defendant Community Health System, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss” (document #95), along with the parties' briefs and exhibits.

         This matter has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and these Motions are ripe for disposition.

         On July 12, 2019, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed Defendant Community Health System, Inc. (“CHS”) See Document #99. Accordingly, the undersigned respectfully recommends that “Defendant Community Health System, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss” (document #95) be denied as moot.

         Having fully considered the arguments, the record, and the applicable authority, the undersigned respectfully recommends that HMA and EmCare's Motions to Dismiss be granted in part and denied in part as discussed below.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Accepting the factual allegations of the Complaint as true, Plaintiff Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates PLLC (“MEMA”) is a North Carolina professional medical corporation that provides emergency room (“ER”) medical services under professional services agreements with hospitals in the Charlotte area. MEMA physicians provided ER coverage under professional services agreements with two hospitals then owned and operated by Defendant Health Management Associates LLC, f/k/a Health Management Associates Inc. (“HMA”): Davis Regional Medical Center (“Davis Hospital”) beginning November 1, 2000 and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center (“Lake Norman Hospital”) beginning July 1, 1996. HMA terminated MEMA's contracts with those hospitals on May 3, 2010.

         Plaintiffs Mason and Folstad are the principals in MEMA and board certified emergency medicine physicians. Mason served as ER Director and member of the Medical Executive Committee at Lake Norman Hospital from 1997 to 2010. He also served as the hospital's Chief of Staff. Folstad served as ER Director at Davis Hospital until 2008 when he became MEMA's CEO.

         Plaintiffs allege that HMA terminated their contracts in retaliation for their refusal to participate in a scheme to submit false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and other government funded healthcare programs. Instead, Plaintiffs complained about and attempted to stop the fraudulent activity. HMA replaced Plaintiffs' ER services with those provided by the EmCare Defendants. HMA and EmCare made false statements about the quality of Plaintiffs' medical care. EmCare agreed to participate in HMA's false claim scheme if they were awarded the ER contracts.

         Plaintiffs originally brought this action as qui tam relators on their own behalf and on behalf of the United States and the states of North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas against HMA, its successor in interest CHS, and EmCare for violations of the federal False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730 et. seq., (“FCA”) and parallel state statutes. In December 2017, EmCare paid $33 million to settle government claims. In September 2018, HMA and CHS paid $262 million to settle government claims, of which $74.5 million arose from ER fraud and $8.96 million related to its relationship with EmCare.

         On April 26, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their Third Severed Amended Complaint which contains their remaining claims for FCA retaliation, defamation, and slander per se against the HMA Defendants only, as well as claims for tortious interference with a contractual relationship, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and civil conspiracy against all Defendants.

         Defendants' Motions to Dismiss have been fully briefed and are ripe for determination.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Stand ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.