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3 million California plaintiffs seek $1.2B from Sutter Health

California Hospital Chain Antitrust Lawsuit
Posted at 8:08 AM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 11:08:30-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A lawsuit over high health bills filed on behalf of more than 3 million employers and people is seeking as much as $1.2 billion from one of Northern California’s largest health systems.

Plaintiffs in the antitrust class-action trial getting underway Thursday allege that Sutter Health abused its market power and “caused enormous adverse economic impacts” by discouraging patients from using lower-cost insurance and lower-cost hospitals.

Sutter Health two years ago paid different plaintiffs $575 million to settle similar claims that it used anti-competitive practices to artificially increase patients costs. Sutter says it didn't violate antitrust laws, and its volume discounts in fact lowered prices.