SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A new trial date will be set on July 12, 2017 in a case against Sutter Health involving claims that it terminates and punishes doctors who advocate for patient care.
Just twenty-seven days before trial was set to begin, Sutter Health attorneys asked the court to continue the trial, because Sutter Health had filed a Petition for Writ Mandate with the Sixth District Court of Appeals seeking to set aside a trial court ruling that denied Sutter Health's motion for summary judgment, and the Petition is still pending.
In its Petition, Sutter Health argues that a Writ is necessary, because the trial court erred and that error is "significant to all Californians concerned with the provision of cost-effective quality health care." Sutter Health's Writ also contends that the trial court's ruling "would endanger health care for millions of Californians."
The lawsuit filed by Barta Law on behalf of Dr. Diana Blum, a Neurologist who was a Shareholder Physician with the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, accuses Sutter Health of engaging in unlawful and unfair business practices, including wrongfully terminating and punishing doctors who disagree with, and refuse to follow, various policies and practices of the giant health care system. Those policies and practices, as detailed in the lawsuit, include reducing "Leakage" (the referral of patients outside the Sutter Health Network), pressuring physicians increase their productivity and "Through put" (seeing more patients and billing more RVUs), and pressuring physicians to prescribe only generic medications regardless of specific patient needs.
The lawsuit alleges that Sutter Health violated a California law and public policy aimed at protecting physicians from retaliation, which states: "a physician and surgeon is encouraged to advocate for medically appropriate health care" and "no person shall terminate, retaliate against, or otherwise penalize a physician and surgeon for that advocacy."
The lawsuit is pending in Santa Clara Superior Court, Downtown Superior Court located at 191 North First Street, San Jose, California. Dr. Blum is represented by Barta Law, a Physician Advocacy firm located in Newport Beach, California.
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SOURCE Barta Law