Tim Joslin, CEO of Doctors Medical Center, Modesto, Calif., has filed a defamation lawsuit against Blue Cross of California, saying the state's largest health insurer damaged the 392-bed hospital's reputation by falsely accusing its doctors of performing unnecessary heart surgeries. Blue Cross' parent, WellPoint Health Networks, and Health Benchmarks, which conducts studies for healthcare companies, also are named in the suit. Blue Cross last month announced plans to terminate its contract with Doctors, owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp., after a panel of experts determined that 13 of 23 coronary artery bypass graft procedures performed at the hospital were unnecessary. Tenet later released its own independent review that concluded the surgeries were appropriate. Blue Cross has since rescinded its termination notice. "These unfounded and outrageous statements have affected all of our reputations and has impacted all of us in our community," Joslin said. "I feel that it is personally my responsibility to stand up for what is right." -- by Laura B. Benko
Tenet hospital CEO sues Blues plan for defamation
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.