5th Circ. Says ERISA Trumps Tenn. Medical Bill Dispute Law

Law360 (September 12, 2019, 6:59 PM EDT) -- The Fifth Circuit ruled Wednesday that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act cancels out a Tennessee law that made it easier for physicians to sue insurance companies over disputed medical bills, ending a conflict over the cost of a health system employee’s dialysis treatments.

The three-judge panel's unanimous decision ends the dialysis dispute, because without the Tennessee law in play, Dialysis Newco Inc. isn’t allowed to sue Community Health Systems Inc. and its claim administrator, MedPartners Administrative Services LLC, over allegedly shorting the dialysis provider on payment.

The law had removed a roadblock to the courts for underpaid doctors who sought...

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