Home Class Action Lawsuits Town hall slated to discuss Providence St. Mary Medical Center lawsuit | Health Fitness

Town hall slated to discuss Providence St. Mary Medical Center lawsuit | Health Fitness

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A town hall meeting regarding a class action lawsuit filed against Providence St. Mary Medical Center by Spokane-based Gilbert Law Firm is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10.

The event will take place at Gesa Power House Theatre, 111 N. Sixth Ave., according to a news release by the law firm, and will include information about lawsuits against Drs. Jason Dreyer and Daniel Elskens, who were employed by Providence St. Mary.

The hospital and two physicians were at the center of a $22.7 million settlement between the U.S. Attorney Office for the Eastern District of Washington and Providence St. Mary Medical Center, the largest health care settlement in the history of this side of the state.

Both men worked as neurosurgeons for the hospital and neither was terminated by Providence despite an internal investigation that revealed issues with their work, including doing unnecessary surgeries for financial gain, according to law enforcement officials.

Upon their leaving, the hospital did not report their behavior to proper authorities, and both surgeons were hired at other medical facilities.

Although hospital leadership was invited to be part of Saturday’s meeting, a Providence spokesperson said the hospital does not participate in events or comment on matters when there is pending litigation.

Dreyer was found by state health care authorities in 2021 to have done unnecessary spine surgeries and more while practicing at St. Mary during that time period.

The office of Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson confirmed in July an ongoing criminal investigation of Dreyer.

The lawsuit by attorney William Gilbert, Angulo vs Providence Health Services, was filed this summer, following the April 12 announcement by the U.S. Attorney Office for the Eastern District of Washington of the settlement reached with the Walla Walla hospital to settle health care fraud claims involving surgeries by Dreyer and Elskens while employed at Providence St. Mary.

Among other things, the settlement demanded safety measures be put into place and restitution be paid to government insurance agencies. It did not, however, compensate patients, Gilbert said, adding the class action lawsuit is designed to address that.

In her April news conference, U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref said the fraudulent billing cases took place between 2013 and 2018.



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