Prime antitrust lawsuit against Kaiser, union dismissed

A federal judge dismissed Prime Healthcare Services' lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente and a California workers' union in what Prime called a conspiracy to whittle the hospital operator out of the market, California Watch reported this week.

In November, Prime filed suit, alleging the competing provider, Kaiser, and Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, an antimonopoly law. However, Judge Janis L. Sammartino determined that Prime did not provide enough facts to support the complaint of an antitrust lawsuit.

This is the latest development in the legal battle Prime has witnessed. SEIU President Dave Regan last week said, "This dismissal confirms that Prime's lawsuit was simply an attempt to divert attention away from continuing allegations of potential Medicare fraud."

Federal investigators have questioned Prime about alleged overbilling, reported by California Watch. However, the hospital chain, which own 18 hospitals, has denied any investigations.

The judge gave Prime 21 days to file a new complaint, Law360 reported. A hospital spokesman said Prime plans to do so, according to California Watch.

For more information:
- read the California Watch article
- here's the Law360 article (subscription required)

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