Sutter Health delays financial filing after antitrust settlement

Ayla Ellison (Twitter) - Print  | 

Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health will delay posting its third quarter financial statements until the terms of an antitrust settlement are made public.

In October, Sutter reached a preliminary agreement in an antitrust case brought by employers and later joined by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. If approved, the settlement will resolve allegations that Sutter Health violated California's antitrust laws by using its market power to overcharge patients and employer-funded health plans. The class members alleged Sutter Health's inflated prices led to $756 million in overcharges, according to Bloomberg Law.

"While Sutter Health maintains its contracting practices were, and remain, in compliance with industry standards, it also believes the settlement avoids a protracted trial and years of appeals, which would not be in the best interest of its patients," states a notice to bondholders filed by Sutter Nov. 25.

In the notice, Sutter said it is bound by court-ordered confidentiality requirements regarding the tentative agreement.

"Due to these confidentiality requirements, Sutter Health will delay posting of its third quarter financial statements and certain updated disclosure information until the court permits the sharing of the terms of the settlement," the notice states.

A hearing on a motion for preliminary approval of the settlement is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2020, and a hearing on a motion for final approval is expected to occur in summer 2020.

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