Justia Health Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Minnesota Supreme Court
After suffering a work-related injury, Employee underwent surgery at a hospital owned by HealthEast Care System. The injury required surgical implantation of a spinal cord stimulator. Employer's worker's compensation insurance provider, State Auto Insurance, paid part but not all of the surgical expenses, asserting (1) the withheld portion of the expenses was attributable to a price markup added by HealthEast to the price paid by HealthEast for the implant hardware used in Employee's surgery, and (2) the manufacturer of the implant hardware should be required to charge directly for the implant hardware. The compensation judge found that Employer and State Auto were liable for the unpaid balance. The Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) HealthEast could charge for the implant hardware because when more than one health care provider is responsible for the creation of a service, article, or supply, the provider that provides the service, article, or supply in its final form is entitled to charge for it; and (2) a compensation judge does not have the authority to determine a reasonable value of a treatment, service, or supply that is lower than eighty-five percent of the provider's usual or customary charge.