Eye doctor sues business partners over dispute concerning Medicare contracts

By Kyle Barnett | Apr 12, 2013

Patrick E. Costello

GRETNA – A local ophthalmologist is suing the clinic and two doctors he entered into a business agreement with because of a dispute over Medicare funds he believes were improperly dispersed.

Owen Leftwich M.D., a Professional Medial Corporation filed suit against South Louisiana Independent Physician Association Inc., Anthony Bonck and Michael McSween M.D. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Feb. 8.

Leftwich claims he entered into an specialty care physician agreement on April 1, 2009 with South Louisiana Independent Physician Association Inc. by which they would pay him up to 95 percent of accounts payable for seeing Medicare patients.

The plaintiff alleges that even though he saw Medicare patients numerous times and stayed beyond regular office hours and regularly saw patients on weekends, he was not fully compensated under the contract for each visit patients made to him, but for only one visit per six-month period. Leftwich asserts that South Louisiana Independent Physician Association Inc., Bonck and McSween deceived, misled and defrauded him when he originally signed the contract by making him believe he would receive 95 percent of all Medicare charges, not just for one charge per every six months.

Despite making a demand to his business partners for a better payment agreement, the referral of patients to the plaintiff is alleged to have diminished before he ultimately canceled the contract.

The defendant is accused of having an unpaid open account with the plaintiff, detrimental reliance, unjust enrichment and violation of Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act.

An unspecified amount in monetary damages is sought by the plaintiff.

Leftwich is represented by Patrick E. Costello of New Orleans-based Mouledoux, Bland, LeGrand & Brackett.

The case has been assigned to Division K Judge Ellen Shirer Kovach.

Case no. 723-730.

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