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In re Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. Billing Practices Litigation

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
293 F.3d 289 (2002)


Facts

During the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) investigation into allegations that Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation (Columbia/HCA) (defendant) committed multiple acts of Medicare and Medicaid fraud, Columbia/HCA conducted several internal audits, called Coding Audits, of patient records. When the DoJ requested copies of the Coding Audits, Columbia/HCA refused and cited attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. After Columbia/HCA reorganized its management, it agreed to produce some of the Coding Audits in exchange for a more favorable settlement agreement. The DoJ agreed. After the parties settled the matter, private litigants filed suit against Columbia/HCA for various claims, including fraud. The claims were consolidated into one action. Columbia/HCA rejected plaintiffs’ demands that it provide the Coding Audits, citing attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. The district court held that Columbia/HCA had waived any privilege when it provided the documents to the DoJ and compelled their disclosure. Columbia/HCA filed an interlocutory appeal of the district court’s order.

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Holding and Reasoning (Russell, J.)

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Dissent (Boggs, J.)

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