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Fri Dec 20, 2019, 06:48 PM

Health system pays $575 million to settle anti-trust lawsuit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — One of Northern California's largest health systems will pay $575 million to settle claims that it used anti-competitive practices to bump up costs for patients, the state's attorney general said Friday, though that falls short of damages sought in a related private lawsuit that could have exceeded $1 billion.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra had sought an injunction to stop the alleged anti-trust practices by Sutter Health, but no monetary damages. The settlement imposes a new court-approved monitor on the health system for 10 years to ensure it is not using anti-competitive practices with insurance companies to increase patients' costs.

Becerra called it “one of the largest actions against anti-competitive conduct in the health care marketplace across the country, with unprecedented levels of injunctive relief to restore competition in the market.” It is larger than recent similar settlements with other providers in North Carolina and Washington state, his office said.

The settlement immediately set off a debate between hospitals and consumer advocates over whether it will limit or increase health care costs.

Read more: https://www.rutlandherald.com/news/business/health-system-pays-million-to-settle-anti-trust-lawsuit/article_ed8592a4-e6a7-5b8b-b846-f708fdec02ff.html

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