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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)


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.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Russell, J.)

Dissent (Boggs, J.)

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