Richmond Clinic Sued for Alleged Breach of Patient Communication Management Contract

A suit originally filed in Los Angeles county court by plaintiff American Health Connection, Inc. (AHC) against defendants Pulmonary Associates of Richmond, Inc. (PAR) and a group of unknown individuals. The complaint alleges that defendant PAR breached a contract with the plaintiff.

The complaint explains that the plaintiff “is in the business of providing healthcare companies with patient communication management services.” Specifically, plaintiff AHC provides its clients with centralized scheduling, insurance verification, appointment reminders, patient access consulting, and more.

In January of 2020, the plaintiff entered into a services agreement with PAR. If PAR anticipated that there would be a change in call volume by 15% or more, it was specified in the agreement that they would have to provide 30 days written notice to the plaintiff so that they would have sufficient time to increase or decrease their staff accordingly.

In June 2021, the plaintiff noticed an “abrupt” 50% decrease in call volume for defendant PAR with no prior notice from PAR. The complaint explains that the plaintiff later learned that “PAR had intentionally changed the call routing so only one of three queues would be routed to AHC,” which directly contributed to the stark decrease.

10 months later, the calls had only decreased further, by 97%. A PAR employee explained to the plaintiff that it was their goal to have as few calls as possible rollover to the plaintiff. The complaint asserts that PAR was attempting to take the process in-house, yet “had done so without providing any notice to AHC of this intentional change in call volume so that AHC could mitigate its losses by increasing or decreasing staff allocated to PAR’s account.”

The plaintiff sent multiple emails to defendant PAR to address the decrease in call volume. The president of PAR responded to the emails, stating that he strongly suggested AHC stop emailing individuals at PAR. He then called AHC and explained that if the plaintiff did not retract its demand for payment, he would “notify all clinics in the industry that AHC was a “bad company” with whom “they shouldn’t do business,” and slander AHC in Yelp reviews to cause maximum financial harm.” The PAR president made these threats despite PAR making no complaints about AHC’s services throughout the time they had collaborated. Further, PAR has repeatedly refused to terminate the contract with AHC.

The complaint concludes that PAR currently owes AHC $142.492.79 for all unpaid services. The complaint cites one count of breach of contract against PAR. The plaintiff is seeking actual, general, compensatory, and consequential damages, interest, attorney fees, pre-judgment interest, and any other relief deemed just by the Court.

The plaintiff is represented in the litigation by Doll Amir & Eley LLP.