Appellate court hears HCA appeal of $433.7 million judgment

A three-judge appeals court panel on Tuesday heard arguments connected to a lawsuit filed in 2009 by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

The lawsuit charged that HCA, the Tennessee-based, for-profit hospital operator, had failed to live up to agreements forged when it bought the nonprofit Health Midwest hospitals in 2003.

The agreement provided for HCA to spend more than $600 million on charity and uncompensated care in the Kansas City metro area by 2013 and to spend $450 million on capital improvements after HCA bought the assets of the Health Midwest hospitals.

A Jackson County Circuit Court judge in December 2015 ordered HCA to pay $433.7 million to the health care foundation, one of two foundations created from the $1.13 billion Health Midwest sale to HCA.

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District is considering HCA’s appeal of the judgment. HCA argues that it spent $343 million building new hospitals in Independence and Lee’s Summit and that spending counts toward its capital improvements obligation.

The appellate court’s opinion is expected in several weeks.

Read more: Kansas City Star


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