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Week in Review

by Lauren M. Nelson, JD on February 17th, 2013

Kroger | Burrus Week in Review


Gonerway v. Corrections Corporation of America
An inmate at a private correctional facility operating under contract with the state filed suit alleging the facility was liable for her eye infection because it permitted her to wear non-corrective, cosmetic contact lenses and did not provide prompt medical treatment. The Dallas appellate court upheld summary judgment for the correctional facility, noting that its staff promptly responded to the inmate’s requests for medical treatment. A Texas Department of Criminal Justice regulation imposing restrictions on inmate eyewear did not apply to the private correctional facility and it did not breach its duty by failing to prohibit the inmate from wearing cosmetic contact lenses.

Bhatia v. Woodlands North Houston Heart Center
A medical practice group whose partners owned various interests in multiple related business entities voted to dissolve “the organization” during a partnership meeting. A former partner filed suit on several grounds, including an allegation that he retained an ongoing interest in an imaging center that was not expressly referenced during the dissolution vote. The Houston appellate court upheld the jury’s finding that the former partner was not entitled to damages. The court noted that the practice group routinely treated all of the related business entities as one organization and that it was understood that the dissolution vote was intended to dissolve all the business entities.


Memorial Hermann Receives National Patient Safety Award
Memorial Hermann Health System has been awarded the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for 2012 by the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission. This award recognizes the health system and its physician affiliates for efforts taken to provide reliable, compassionate and financially efficient care.

Houston Hospitals Request Medicaid Rate Recalculation
An attorney representing two Houston hospitals recently appeared before the Texas Supreme Court to request that the state recalculate Medicaid reimbursement rates that 14 hospitals received for the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years. The hospitals asserted that an injunction the Texas Supreme Court issued in 2008 was supposed to change reimbursement rates but was not implemented by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission until 2010, costing the hospitals millions of dollars.

 Study Finds No Link Between Readmission Rates and Patient Deaths
A Journal of the American Medical Association study found that higher hospital readmissions do not lead to fewer patient deaths. The study suggests that hospitals can keep the number of patients who return for additional treatment low without a corresponding increase in mortality rates.

CHRISTUS to Open Behavioral Health Center
CHRISTUS Health System plans to open a new Behavioral Health Center at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – Medical Center in San Antonio this summer. The center will provide short-term inpatient services for adults experiencing mental health crises and will treat individuals ages 65 and over who have psychiatric illnesses.

 CHRISTUS Moves Forward with Chile Expansion
CHRISTUS Health has signed a preliminary agreement with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile to jointly expand the Chilean health system. CHRISTUS and PUC expect to complete due diligence and negotiations toward a definitive joint venture partnership agreement within six months.

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