Rival sues OSF HealthCare for market dominance

Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, Ill., last week filed a $100 million anti-trust lawsuit against OSF HealthCare System. Methodist, the second largest hospital system in the city, claims its rival, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center--the health system's flagship hospital--has reduced the number of market competitors and therefore is driving up costs, the Journal Star reported.

OSF has exclusionary agreements with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Aetna and Health Alliance, the Rockford Record reported.

Methodist says St. Francis is strong-arming insurers to terminate relationships with Methodist, which therefore excludes it from 60 percent of the commercial insurance market, the lawsuit alleges.

Methodist President and CEO Debbie Simon said, "We, at Methodist, believe strongly that fair and open competition is needed to [e]nsure patients receive the best price, quality and service in healthcare."

OSF maintains the lawsuit is "without merit," according to OSF Healthcare Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications James Farrell, the Journal Star reported.

OSF said in a statement it has complied with all antitrust regulations. The health system also noted it provides $268 million in charity care and community benefits.

OSF last year forfeited a merger deal with Rockford Health System, after the parties came under FTC review. The FTC argued the partnership would result in consolidation of general acute care inpatient services, as well as primary care services, controlling 99 percent and 60 percent of the market, respectively.

For more information:
- read the Rockford Record article
- here's the OSF statement
- see the Journal Star article

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