SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Trial has been set for July 17, 2017 in Santa Clara Superior Court in a case against Sutter Health involving claims that it retaliates against doctors who advocate for their patients and protest Sutter Health policies and practices the doctors believe impair patient care.
The lawsuit filed by Barta Law on behalf of Dr. Diana Blum, a Neurologist, accuses Sutter Health of engaging in unlawful and unfair business practices, including retaliating against, punishing, and wrongfully terminating 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 to prescribe only generic medications regardless of specific patient needs, and mandating certain "Coding" so as to increase the amount of money that is billed and collected from third party payers.
As the lawsuit alleges, Sutter Health violated a California law and public policy that 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."
Dr. Blum, who was a Shareholder Physician with the Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group (which is part of the Sutter Medical Network) explains in her lawsuit that during the course of her employment, she disagreed with, protested, and refused to follow policies and practices she believed impaired her ability to provide medically appropriate health care to her patients. Because Dr. Blum did what she believed was best for patients and always put her patients first, the lawsuit says, she was labeled a troublemaker, accused of "not being a team player", and ultimately, forced to resign.
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