Sutter Health on trial: 6 things to know

A trial against Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health began Oct. 8 over alleged anti-competitive practices in a case that promises to be significant for healthcare markets nationwide, according to The New York Times.

Six things to know about the case:

1. Sutter Health was sued by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, as well as employers and unions who were allegedly harmed by the health system's business practices.

2. The lawsuit accuses the 24-hospital system of gaining market dominance by absorbing physician practices, which often goes unnoticed under current merger review policies, according to the report. Sutter Health's system includes 5,500 physicians.

3. The lawsuit alleges patients in Sutter's market pay significantly more for the same services because of the market dominance it has created. For example, treatment for a heart attack was $10,000 more in San Francisco than in Los Angeles, according to the report.

4. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, Sutter Health could be liable for upward of $2 billion, according to the report.

5. The case also stands to affect health systems across the country that have gained market dominance through similar practices, according to the report.

6. Sutter Health denies hurting competition and engaging in anticompetitive activities.

Read more here.


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