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San Jose Neurospine is battling Aetna Health California in court, alleging that the insurer illegally refused to pay for emergency medical services performed by spine surgeon Adebukola Onibokun, MD, the practice's owner.

What you should know:

1. The case centers on a two-level lumbar microdiscectomy that Dr. Onibokun performed in April 2017. San Jose Neurospine submitted two claims to Aetna for reimbursement — one for emergency medical services and one for nonemergency surgery. Aetna only provided payment for the latter.

2. San Jose Neurospine filed a civil action aga...

One in five patients who get elective surgery at U.S. hospitals that accept their insurance may still get surprise medical bills, especially if they receive anesthesia, a new study suggests.

The study looked at what happened to almost 350,000 patients who had non-emergency surgery between 2012 and 2017 at hospitals and clinics that belonged to their health plan network, using surgeons who accepted their insurance.

Even among those who did their best to go where their insurance was accepted, 21% still got surprised by out-of-network bills. And tabs were not small, ave...

The knock came just four days after Steven Krueger got out of the hospital. He was recovering from back surgery in his home in Idaho Falls when sheriff's deputies arrived with a warrant to bring him to the courthouse.

Steve was in a back brace and wasn't supposed to travel, except to the doctor.

"I just kind of stood there stunned," says Mari Krueger, Steve's wife. "I was just horrified ... I was almost hysterical."

Mari wasn't stunned by Steve's arrest simply because of his condition. She was also shocked because he wasn't accused of committing a crime. What he...

As you may recall, after the 2008 market crash and recession I wrote a handful of Law Review columns strongly criticizing institutional lenders for dealing unfairly with their borrowers. I met with innocent homeowners, many who were talked into filing applications for loan modifications, only afterwards to be foreclosed on by the lender. Most lost their homes. The foreclosing lenders did just fine.


In 2012, California enacted the California Homeowner Bill of Rights to address what I candidly describe as abuse, even fraud, by institutional len...

More details revealed as allegations unfold of Stanford Hospitals unlawfully charging Northern California patients and falsifying their records. The case is captioned United States vs. Stanford et al. Case No. CV 17-08726-DSF (AFMx). It is a live case in the Central District Federal Court.

The Department of Justice also just filed in Federal Court a “Statement of Interest” in support of the false claims action (“FCA”) against Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospitals and Clinics).

The Complaint alleges that Stanford is a purported non-profit organization...

A California federal judge has certified a nationwide class of Wells Fargo mortgage borrowers who say the bank breached its contract by denying them home loan modifications, while excluding proposed subclasses of borrowers bringing consumer protection, wrongful foreclosure and emotional distress claims.

In partially granting the certification bid Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup approved a class definition that encompasses Wells Fargo mortgage borrowers who qualified for a home loan modification between 2010 and 2018 but were not offered it due to a soft...

Wells Fargo former Chairman and CEO John Stumpf has agreed to pay a fine of $17.5 million and accept a lifetime ban from the banking industry in a settlement the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Thursday.

Two other former C-suite executives of the San Francisco bank also settled and were fined. Hope Hardison, Wells Fargo’s (NYSE: WFC) former chief administrative officer and director of corporate human resources, agreed to pay a fine of $2.25 million and a personal cease and desist order that requires her to refrain from certain conduct in the futu...

The California company that evicted a group of homeless mothers from a West Oakland, California, home this week is the force behind a sprawling national home-flipping operation. Through a related entity, the company, Wedgewood Properties, also benefited from a controversial government program to offload distressed, federally insured loans to investors.

Early Tuesday morning, sheriff’s deputies evicted the group Moms 4 Housing, who were occupying a foreclosed, investor-owned home in West Oakland. In November, the four women and their children moved into a home that h...

A former Fannie Mae employee will spend more than the next six years in prison after being found guilty of accepting more than a million dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for selling Fannie Mae-owned foreclosures for less than market value.

Back in January 2018, Shirene Hernandez was charged with accepting bribes for steering foreclosures to certain brokers and even allegedly buying some foreclosures herself at below market value.

And nearly a year ago, Hernandez was found guilty of two wire fraud counts that involved the deprivation of honest services...

The Department of Justice recovered more than $2 billion from settlements and judgments in healthcare fraud cases for the 10th consecutive year in fiscal year 2019.

In the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, the Justice Department obtained more than $3 billion from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government. The bulk of those recoveries — $2.6 billion — came from healthcare fraud cases.

Two of the largest recoveries in fiscal 2019 came from opioid manufacturers Insys Therapeutics and Reckitt Benckiser Group. Insys paid $195 million to resolve allegat...

From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey: The 30-year, fixed-rate averaged 3.64%, eight big basis points lower than last week. The 15-year, fixed-rate averaged 3.07%, nine basis points down from last week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 1.5% decrease in loan application volume from two weeks earlier.

Bottom line: Assuming a borrower gets the average 30-year fixed rate on a conforming $510,400 loan, last year’s payment was $239 higher than this week’s payment of $2,332.

What I see: Locally, well-qualified borrowers can get the following fixed-rate mortgages withou...

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