Calif. Attorney General Sues Sutter Health Over Anticompetitive Tactics Linked To Higher Costs
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra alleges Sutter uses a variety of improper strategies, such as gag clauses on prices, “punitively high” out-of-network charges and “all-or-nothing” contract terms that require all of its facilities to be included in insurance networks.
Sutter Health Unfairly Inflates Medical Costs In Northern California, AG Alleges
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday that, after a six-year investigation, he has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Sacramento-based Sutter Health in San Francisco Superior Court, alleging that the health-care company has used its market power to control prices and exclude competition. (Anderson, 3/30)
California Sues Hospital Network Over High Health Costs
“Sutter Health is throwing its weight around in the healthcare market, engaging in illegal, anticompetitive pricing that hurts California families,” Becerra said in a statement. “These tactics are risking Californians’ lives by driving up the cost of healthcare for everyone." Becerra alleges that Sutter Health sets excessively high out-of-network rates for patients who must get care outside of their provider network; restricts publication of provider cost information and rates; and requires insurance companies negotiate with the entire system or face termination of contracts. (Hellmann, 3/30)
California Takes On Health Giant Over High Costs
Taken together, Sutter’s actions “improperly block any and all practical efforts to foster or encourage price competition between Sutter and any rival Healthcare Providers or Hospital Systems,” according to the state’s complaint. “Sutter’s conduct injured the general economy of Northern California and thus of the state.” (Terhune and Ibarra, 4/1)