October 16, 2019
Sutter Health has reached a tentative settlement agreement in a closely watched antitrust case brought by self-funded employers, and later joined by the California Attorney General’s Office. The agreement was announced in the San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday morning, just before opening arguments were expected to begin.
Details have not been made public, and the parties declined to talk to reporters. Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo told the jury that details will likely be made public during the approval hearings in February or March.
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Sutter stood accused of violating California’s antitrust laws by using its market power to illegally drive up prices. Healthcare costs in Northern California, where Sutter is dominant, are 20% to 30% higher than in Southern California, even after adjusting for cost of living, according to a 2018 study from the Nicholas C. Petris Center at UC Berkeley cited in the complaint.
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