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weST COVERAGE

News & Markets Insurer Sues Nocal Surgery Southern Cal. Jurors Award Firm Over Alleged Overbilling $4.5M After Teacher Molest

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nited Healthcare Services has filed a $39 million lawsuit against a Northern California company that manages five outpatient surgery centers, claiming the firm overbilled the insurance carrier and offered doctors financial incentives for patient referrals. The case filed in Santa Clara Superior Court against Saratoga-based Bay Area Surgical Management is similar to a $20 million suit Aetna brought against the company earlier this year. The San Jose Mercury News reported that United Healthcare alleges that Bay Area Surgical billed the insurer $69,700 for an arthroscopic knee surgery and $32,300 for two spinal injections, rates dramatically higher than what other providers charge. Partner Bobby Sarnevesht denies the allegations. He told the Mercury News the insurance companies are trying to strong-arm Bay Area Surgical into signing a contract with unfavorable reimbursement terms.

an Diego County, Calif. jurors have awarded two girls $4.5 million because they were molested by their Carlsbad elementary school teacher. The North County Times says jurors also ruled unanimously that the Carlsbad Unified School District was negligent for failing to supervise the teacher. After the verdicts were read, some jurors cried and hugged the mothers of the victims. In his 2010 criminal trial, 41-year-old Raymond Firth pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery and one of false imprisonment. He spent 22 months in prison and was released in March. He did not attend the civil trial. He will be responsible for 60 percent of the award, the school district for 40 percent. An attorney for the district says he doesn’t know if they will appeal.

@2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

@2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Colo. Ranchers Selling Off Cattle to Colo. Supermax Inmates Sue Over Avoid Drought Loss Mental Health Treatment

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anchers in western Colorado are selling off cattle to avoid losing them to a severe drought. Livestock auctioneer Bill Martin of Loma says his auction barn usually sees between 200 and 400 cows a week, but this year the numbers have sometimes nearly quadrupled. Martin says the spike in animal sales is due to drought conditions across Colorado, forcing ranchers to sell off this year. Rainfall on the western slope is down significantly, which makes it tougher and more expensive for ranchers to feed their animals.

ive inmates who say their mental health illnesses are deteriorating in solitary confinement inside the socalled Supermax prison in Colorado have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. In the complaint filed in Denver, the inmates argue they are repeatedly denied adequate medication for illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

@2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

@2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

8 | INSURANCE JOURNAL-WEST REGION July 2, 2012

www.insurancejournal.com

Agency Management Systems / Insurance Exchanges; Commercial Auto; Digital Product Guide  
Agency Management Systems / Insurance Exchanges; Commercial Auto; Digital Product Guide  

Agency Management Systems / Insurance Exchanges; Commercial Auto; Digital Product Guide