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Reused-Syringe Class Action Targets HMOs

LAS VEGAS (CN) - Two HMOs failed to monitor doctors in Las Vegas Valley who are accused of reusing syringes on patients, potentially exposing 40,000 patients to HIV, hepatitis other blood-borne infections, a class-action lawsuit claims in Clark County Court. Lawsuits and class-action claims against doctors and clinics have flooded the courts after The Southern Nevada Health District announced allegations that several facilities were reusing syringes on patients. This is the first to target HMOs for failing to monitor doctors.

Health Plan of Nevada and Sierra Health & Life Insurance Co. failed to "establish and/or implement a quality assurance program to monitor, evaluate and/or regulate the medical providers within their HMO network," as required by Nevada law, the complaint states.

"Had defendants properly established ... quality assurance procedures as required... the unsafe. Unlawful and outrageous injection practices and procedures utilized by the Endoscopy Center Providers and other health care providers would have been identified and corrected immediately," according to the complaint.

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