Part of HCA staffing class-action lawsuit reinstated

A federal appeals court has given plaintiffs in a class-action suit against HCA another bite at the apple. The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Wichita, KS in 2006 on behalf of the estates of former HCA patients, alleges that staffing levels at HCA hospitals were too low to provide appropriate care. It was filed under the auspices of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. The District Court had ruled that the Act didn't apply to the practice of medicine, but the Kansas Supreme Court later ruled in another case that the Act could apply, according to the opinion of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. That court kicked the case back to the District Court, which was charted with sorting out whether HCA was negligent in using the staffing software it provides to its hospitals. The bottom line was that the plaintiffs didn't win out on an "unjust enrichment" claim but that the case could otherwise continue.

To learn more about the case:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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