After five days of jury selection, six women and two men have now been sworn in as jurors in the long-anticipated trial between insurance behemoth UnitedHealthcare and three TeamHealth provider groups of Nevada emergency department clinicians. The clinicians, who filed their case in Clark County, Nevada district court in April 2019, seek $10.5 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages. Judge Nancy Allf is presiding over the case.
The clinicians’ opening statements were presented today by Pat Lundvall of the Las Vegas firm McDonald Carano and Kevin Leyendecker and Joseph Ahmad of Houston’s AZA Law firm. Lee Blalack II of O’Melveny & Myers is presenting United’s opening.
The providers allege United has implemented an intentional scheme via its so-called “Shared Savings” program, using it to generate over $1 billion in revenues annually. The nature of the scheme is as yet unknown to United’s stakeholders – or to the employer clients at whose expense United has reaped massive profits – but is expected to be revealed in the course of the trial, which is likely to continue into late November.
Testifying first is former United executive John Haben, believed to be a key player in developing and launching the “Shared Savings” program and other initiatives intended to boost United’s profits at the expense of employers, patients and healthcare providers.
“United is so embarrassed about its conduct and the facts that are expected to come out at trial that the insurance behemoth has repeatedly tried to seal the courtroom and keep the evidence out of the public eye,” said Carol Owen, Chief Counsel for Revenue Payment Integrity, TeamHealth. “Nonetheless, the clinicians’ legal team has successfully fought to shine the light on United’s nefarious conduct, and those facts will finally enter the public arena.”
The Nevada trial should be the most significant view behind the managed care curtain in recent history – all of which have mainly been attorneys’ eyes only going into the trial. For more details, see ProtectingOurHealthcareHeroes.com. To watch the proceedings in real-time, tune in to the livestream (Meeting ID: 541 907 772) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Pacific Time.
At TeamHealth, our purpose is to perfect the practice of medicine, every day, in everything we do. We are proud to be the leading physician practice in the U.S., driven by our commitment to quality and safety and supported by our world-class operating team. To improve the experience of our physicians and advanced practice clinicians, we empower clinicians to act on what they believe is right, free clinicians from distractions so they can focus on patient care, invest in learning and development to promote growth in the clinical field and foster an environment where continuous improvement is a shared priority. Through our more than 15,000 affiliated healthcare professionals and advanced practice clinicians, TeamHealth offers emergency medicine, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, obstetrics, ambulatory care, post-acute care and medical call center solutions to approximately 2,900 acute and post-acute facilities and physician groups nationwide. Join our team; we value and empower clinicians. Partner with us; we deliver on our promises. Learn more at www.teamhealth.com.
The term “TeamHealth” as used throughout this release includes Team Health Holdings, Inc., its subsidiaries, affiliates, affiliated medical groups and providers, all of which are part of the TeamHealth organization. “Providers” are physicians, advanced practice clinicians and other healthcare providers who are employed by or contract with subsidiaries or affiliated entities of Team Health Holdings, Inc. All such providers exercise independent clinical judgment when providing patient care. Team Health Holdings, Inc., does not have any employees, does not contract with providers and does not practice medicine.