Ballad antitrust lawsuit heads to federal appeals court

Tennessee residents suing Ballad Health for an anticompetitive board structure appealed a judge's decision to dismiss the case, the Bristol Herald Courier reports.

The original complaint alleges that overlap between the boards of Ballad Health and East Tennessee State University, both based in Johnson City, Tenn., has created an interlocking directorate between two entities that are competitors, according to the report. ETSU President Brian Noland, PhD, serves on the Ballad Health board, and the boards of both organizations share two directors. The lawsuit alleges that this overlap is anticompetitive, led to facility closures and greater travel times to healthcare services, and could cause the residents to incur higher healthcare costs.

U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier dismissed the complaint in December, stating that the plaintiffs did not show how the Ballad Health and ETSU board structure caused personal harm. The plaintiffs' attorney filed for appeal Jan. 10 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Court, according to the report.

Ballad Health declined to provide the Bristol Herald Courier with comment.

Read the full story here.

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