Justice Department, Henry Ford Allegiance Health settle antitrust case

Gavel and flag in courtroom
The Justice Department and Henry Ford Allegiance Health have reached a settlement in an antitrust case. (Getty/AlexStar)

The Department of Justice has reached a settlement with Henry Ford Allegiance Health over allegations that the health system committed antitrust violations in its marketing practices. 

Jackson, Michigan-based Henry Ford Allegiance Health—which was known as simply Allegiance Health prior to its merger with Henry Ford Health System in 2016—was charged with violating antitrust law by conspiring with a hospital based in a nearby county to restrict marketing in that county, according to an announcement from the DOJ.

The marketing scheme, according to the DOJ, prevented patients from taking advantage of the benefits of local competition, including information that allows them to make their own healthcare choices.

“By prohibiting further anticompetitive conduct and educating Allegiance executives on antitrust law, this settlement will ensure that consumers receive the fruits of robust competition," said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

As part of the settlement, Henry Ford Allegiance Health agreed to end the problematic marketing practices. Allegiance must report any violations of the agreement to the DOJ, and has agreed to submit to compliance inspections conducted by the department at any time, according to the announcement. Further, the settlement requires Allegiance to reimburse the DOJ and the state of Michigan for certain costs incurred in litigating the case.  

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The settlement will be finalized once it is approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. 

The DOJ previously settled other similar antitrust cases with neighboring hospitals in South-Central Michigan, according to the announcement. The case against Allegiance was first filed almost three years ago, and was set for a March 6 trial date.