The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a 2016 jury verdict and 2017 trial court judgment that ultimately awarded $9.5 million to a Dallas-based health care company. In a majority opinion, the appellate court found that BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana failed to properly reimburse Encompass Office Solutions for in-office medical procedures, and distributed a defamatory letter to physicians with false information regarding the company and its services. That letter threatened to terminate the network contracts of doctors who continued to work with Encompass.
Subsequent to the opinion in the case the court has denied a motion for rehearing.
A trial team from Thompson & Knight LLP represented Encompass throughout the district court hearings and before the Fifth Circuit.
“This case has a lengthy history spanning several years, and we’re pleased that finally Encompass will be properly compensated for the services it provided and the damages the company has incurred,” said Jennifer Rudenick Ecklund, a trial partner at Thompson & Knight who argued the case before the trial court and Fifth Circuit. The judgment remains subject to the awarding of interest and legal fees to Encompass.
Other members of the Thompson & Knight trial team included William L. Banowsky, Andrew C. Cookingham, Greg W. Curry, Richard B. Phillips, Jr. and Reed Randel.
Encompass provides mobile ambulatory surgery services that allow doctors to safely perform surgeries in their offices. Encompass’s business is primarily focused on women’s health, allowing patients to have sensitive gynecological procedures done in the comfort and safety of the doctor’s offices while providing the necessary anesthesia care. This method reduces the infection risks associated with hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, and provides both doctors and patients with a more efficient and cost-effective means of delivering medically necessary surgical care.