MIAMI (April 28, 2000) – The national consumer law firm of Herman, Middleton, Casey & Kitchens today announced that it has filed a nationwide class action against Humana charging that the HMO paid incentives to doctors, hospitals and other medical providers to minimize the quality and cost of the treatment they provide to their patients.
The lawsuit, pending before Judge Fred Moreno of the Southern District of Florida, joins dozens of others filed throughout the United States and transferred to Miami by the Federal Judicial Panel on Multi-district Litigation.
The lawsuit, brought on behalf of Humana subscribers across the US, charges that Humana rewarded health care providers who chose cheaper methods of treatment and diagnosis and who failed to disclose to patients other more costly – and often more appropriate – methods of treatment. The complaint also states that Humana failed to pass the discounts it obtained for itself on to its subscribers.
“Humana rewarded doctors who did not refer their patients to specialists and who did not require expensive diagnostic tests,” said Mike Eidson of Colson Hicks Eidson of Miami, who filed the class action with the Herman Middleton firm. “Humana contracts also include ‘gag clauses’ prohibiting medical providers from discussing alternative treatments with the patients.”