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Florida court orders ASC to show patient billing records

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A Florida appeals court ruled May 21 that Orlando-based Sand Lake Surgery Center must produce relevant billing records for the treatment of two personal injury plaintiffs, even though it already sold its stake in the case to a litigation funding company.

The plaintiffs originally sued the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners over alleged injuries suffered in a malfunctioning elevator in a county-owned parking garage.

The two patients were treated by Sand Lake in a so-called letter of protection, which defers payment and entitles the medical provider to a cut of the verdict, according to the suit. 

Instead of waiting for the litigation outcome, Sand Lake sold its stake to American Medical Funding, a company that purchases LOPs, according to the opinion.

Sand Lake already had provided the county with some billing records, but it declined to produce any information regarding payments made by American Medical Funding — citing a trade secret and confidentiality provision. 

The trial court originally declined to require Sand Lake to produce the information, but the panel said May 21 that the court decision was wrong because the burden is on the parties resisting discovery to establish that the information sought is confidential.

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