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Key Texas Lawsuit Against HMO Now Off Court Docket

The first lawsuit against an HMO under Texas's health plan liability statute has been settled.

The case involved a man who was discharged from a psychiatric hospital against the advice of his physician, then committed suicide hours later. The family sued what was then NYLCare 65, its medical director, and a behavioral health carve-out company under the state's new HMO liability law.

Details are confidential, other than that the health plan admitted no wrongdoing. Both sides claim moral victories. The lawyer who brought the case, George Parker Young, says the publicity it brought served its purpose: Health plans in Texas, he says, are now less likely to overrule physicians' recommendations. The head of the Texas Association of Health Plans maintains the case was dropped because it was weak. The suit was to have been tried in state court in October.

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