A federal jury in Arkansas this week handed up a $9.4 million breach of-contract award to a Tennessee-based emergency physician group after finding that subsidiaries of Centene Corporation violated their contracts by systematically underpaying the physicians.
Attorneys for Knoxville-based Southeastern Emergency Physicians, LLC, a subsidiary of TeamHealth Inc., said the final award could hit $13 million with legal fees and interest.
“The Centene defendants ignored their written agreements and tried to cheat these hardworking emergency room doctors,” said John Zavitsanos, plaintiffs’ lead attorney and a partner with Houston-based AZA or Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C.
“They treated commercial insurance claims like Medicare payments, they tried to hide which company owed the money, they paid late. Their cavalier attitude toward these essential workers was abominable,” Zavitsanos said.