ACA to Appeal Following Setback in Class Action Lawsuit Against ASHN, CIGNA
Written by Editor   
Thursday, April 03, 2014 12:00 AM

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) today announced its intention to appeal the recent dismissal of its claims against American Specialty Health Inc. and American Specialty Health Networks Inc. (collectively, "ASHN"), and CIGNA Corporation and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (collectively, "CIGNA"). Significantly, the dismissal was based upon a variety of procedural considerations--not the substance of ACA’s claims.  ACA’s legal counsel is optimistic about the chances of a successful appeal, noting that this area of the law is the subject of increasing judicial focus.

“Recently, there have been several significant rulings recognizing that providers are entitled to assert claims under ERISA to challenge benefit determinations by insurers, including with regard to recoupments of previously issued payments”,” said Brian Hufford, Esq., of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, who represents ACA in the class action suit. "We believe that federal courts are increasingly recognizing that individual providers and associations such as the ACA have standing to assert the claims brought in this action.”  

ACA's litigation against ASHN and CIGNA alleges, among other things, that CIGNA--in violation of ERISA--failed to comply with terms and conditions of its plan to afford subscribers or their health care providers an opportunity to obtain a "full and fair review" of denied or reduced reimbursement, and failed to make appropriate and non-misleading disclosures to subscribers or their health care providers.

"ACA took this action against ASHN and CIGNA because it is patients who suffer most when doctors must choose between providing necessary care and adhering to requirements imposed by payers," said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC. "We will not rest until patients receive the care they need and have paid for through their insurance premiums."

Providers who believe they and/or their patients have been affected by ASHN and/or CIGNA's improper practices can visit the Chiropractic Networks Action Center to submit a complaint to ACA.

Source:  http://www.acatoday.org/record_css.cfm?CID=5450