No More “Ghost Rates” – Rules Implementing “No Surprises Act” Set Aside

Tyler Federal Courthouse – Photo: Carol M. Highsmith 

U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle of Tyler held unlawful seven regulations implemented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its related federal agencies under the “No Surprises Act” that the plaintiff medical providers argued were being used to delay medical billing payment, increase the cost of billing and ultimately compensate providers at below-market rates.

Pretrial Rulings in Fall Line Patents Case     

I had a great time at the recent planning meeting for the upcoming EDTX bench/bar conference in October. Pretrial rulings in this case were the subject of some gossip among the participants, so I went back and studied those I had not posted on previously, including SJ, experts, and a “novel” standing/subject matter jurisdiction argument. (And “novel” not in a good way).

Sanctions for Discovery Misconduct

Judge Schroeder ordered defendant McDonald’s counsel to pay reasonable costs and fees in the amount of $79,584.11 to the plaintiff after McDonald’s failed to comply with a number of the court’s orders compelling discovery responses.  But although the court found that McDonald’s discovery compliance has been “dilatory and incomplete”, that did not mean that the relief sought by the plaintiff was found by the court to be appropriate.

Georgia Not Sufficiently On My Mind

“Georgia On My Mind” composer Hoagy Carmichael

Judge Kernodle denied the third party’s motion to quash a subpoena issued in a case pending in his court for the reason that FRCP 45(a)(3) requires motions to quash subpoenas to be issued in the court for the district where compliance is required, here the Northern District of Georgia, just a few states down I-20 from Tyler. (Interestingly, Ian Fleming has no fewer than two women in his novels describe James Bond as resembling Carmichael).

Motion For Expedited Discovery Denied

Plaintiff DIRECTV sought expedited discovery prior to the scheduling conference to serve third-party subpoenas.  The court denied the unopposed motion, citing the plaintiff’s failure to request injunctive relief as it contended it would, or to attach the proposed subpoenas to allow the court to determine whether the requested scope of discovery was appropriately balanced between the scope of discovery and the privacy interests of defendants.