TX health system settles antitrust allegations for $700K

A Texas health system has settled allegations that it engaged in anti-competitive behavior by pressuring managed care companies to reject contracts with a physician-owned facility.

The Texas attorney general had accused Houston-based Memorial Hermann Healthcare System of antitrust violations, arguing that it tried to make sure a physician-owned hospital that opened near its 319-bed Memorial City Hospital in 2005 received no contracts. Memorial Hermann was accused of hindering the business of Houston Town and Country Hospital, a physician-owned facility that closed in 2007.

Memorial Hermann allegedly threatened to drop its contract with Cigna after finding out that the health plan had signed Town and Country. It also threatened Aetna with a rate hike if it contracted with the physician-owned hospital, prosecutors say.

As part of the settlement, the health system agreed to pay $700,000 to reimburse the attorney general's office for the expenses it incurred in the investigation.

To find out more about the settlement:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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