Supreme Court won't hear antitrust suit against Atrium Health

The U.S. Supreme Court declined Dec. 6 to hear an antitrust lawsuit against Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health that challenged its market dominance. 

The justices won't review a March decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which rejected a proposed class-action lawsuit that argued Atrium exploited its market dominance to prohibit insurers from directing patients toward lower-cost care options. 

The legal challenge centered on whether or not Atrium outgrew its classification as a "local" entity with immunity against antitrust damages under the Local Government Antitrust Act of 1984. The appeals court found that Atrium remained a local government covered by the act, despite its growth. 

The patient leading the proposed class petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case in August. Atrium filed a brief in opposition in October, arguing that the top court in North Carolina has held expressly that it qualifies as a local entity. 

"Atrium Health has always denied the allegations contained in this suit. We are pleased that the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court brings an end to this case," an Atrium spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review.

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