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US: BCBS gets big break in antitrust lawsuit

 |  August 29, 2013

A judge dismissed a critical part of a lawsuit against health insurance giant Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois in a major win for the state’s largest insurer.

The lawsuit claimed BCBS suppressed competition for outpatient surgeries in collusion with Southern Illinois Healthcare, which operates three major hospitals. According to the case filed by Marion HealthCare, Southern Illinois Healthcare maintains 77 percent of inpatient hospital services in the area and 85 percent of outpatient care sold to insurers.

The complaint is fighting BCBS’s practice of exclusive dealing with major healthcare providers; experts say such deals, though common, can harm consumers and competition.

Judge David Herndon ruled last Monday, however, that the complaints do not constitute a violation of antitrust law. Marion HealthCare will now be able to file an amended complaint, said reports.

Full Content: Chicago Business

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