East Texas Medical Center vs Thomas W. Slack Jr.

The thrust of the lawsuit revolves around certain undisclosed fees associated with pharmacy benefits. Transparency in health care financing can be elusive at times.

In a lawsuit filed May 24, 2012, East Texas Medical Center “complains of injuries sustained and proximately caused by a pattern of racketeering activity carried out by the defendents, individually and in concert with one another, the purposes for and the effects of which were to conduct and participate in HealthFirst’s affairs.” East Texas Medical Centers owns HealthFirst TPA. (http://www.hfbenefits.com/)

The thrust of the lawsuit revolves around certain undisclosed fees associated with pharmacy benefits. “The criminal scheme was implemented by an agreement between Slack disguised as increased administrative fees to HealthFirst, which were in turn, passed on to the Plans for payment.”

Tom Slack

“In May 2004, with these fees now hidden, Slack and Pick agreed to a bribe scheme whereby PIT would pay Slack $0.75 for each prescription filled by PTI related to HealthFirst’s block of business in exchange for Slack’s continued and future use of PTI for HealthFirst’s Plans.”


Douglas Pick, Pharmaceutical Technologies

“These payments totaled in excess of $1.6 million, and in furtherance of the scheme to defraud, were mailed and later wired to Slack through Sharper so as to conceal the criminal origin of these payments.”

“The additional $0.75 per prescription was then paid to Slack as a bribe through a company called Sharper Aviation Solutions, Inc., set up by and owned by Slack for the purpose of concealing these bribe payments. (http://www.corporationwiki.com/Texas/Tyler/sharper-aviation-solutions-inc/36512136.aspx)

Use the links below to access additional information about this case on the US Court’s PACER system. A subscription to PACER is required.

Access this case on the Texas Eastern District Court’s Electronic Court Filings (ECF) System

Archive: http://blog.riskmanagers.us/?p=9922

Editor’s Note: Transparency in health care financing can be  elusive at times.

From a TPA:

Now I understand.  East Texas Medical Center is going after Slack because Slack was keeping these payments instead of allowing HealthFirst to retain them.  Doesn’t East Texas Medical Center own Healthfirst?  So it’s not really a problem that an employer was paying extra but rather that extra payment wasn’t going to the company.