“Sutter Health Loses Appeal to Arbitrate Antitrust Claims,” Sacramento Business Journal
November 02, 2015
Sutter Health has lost a key court ruling, opening the door to a trial on claims that the Sacramento-based health system uses its dominance in Northern California to overcharge patients, employers and insurers.
A state appeals court in San Francisco ruled Oct. 27 that Sutter can’t require a union benefits trust to arbitrate its claim that the health system engaged in anti-competitive behavior that cranked up costs for thousands of workers.
United Food and Commercial Workers & Employers Benefit Trust sued Sutter in April 2014, alleging the health system requires health plans, self-funded employers and others to include all Sutter hospitals in its networks, among other provisions. The lawsuit alleges Sutter enforces this policy through contracts that charge higher rates for out-of-network services.