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Experts may be needed in hospital’s ‘blind deal’ case

Even after reading a “secret” revenue-boosting idea offered by a consultant to Rockingham Memorial Hospital, a federal judge said he cannot determine if the idea is so obvious or well-known in the trade as to make it worthless.

U.S. District Judge Glen Conrad said the matter is a subjective issue that “may require input from experts.”  His opinion is here.

McKay Consulting is asking Conrad to declare it has an enforceable contract with the hospital for 20 percent of any increased revenues from its idea.  The hospital moved to dismiss the action, arguing McKay’s idea cannot support an enforceable contract because it is based on public laws controlling Medicare reimbursement and therefore is not “novel.”

Conrad decided last week to allow contract claims against the hospital to go forward, although he dismissed claims based on unjust enrichment and misappropriation of trade secrets.

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