Appeals court rules in favor of PeaceHealth in antitrust lawsuit

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The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that PeaceHealth of Bellevue, Wash., had not acted anti-competitively and overturned the ruling of a 2003 antitrust lawsuit, according to Modern Healthcare. At that trial four years ago, the healthcare provider was ordered to pay $16.2 million to the competing McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center of Springfield, Ore.

McKenzie-Willamette had accused PeaceHealth of attempting to establish a monopoly by illegally bundling services, alleging that healthcare provider offered deep discounts on tertiary care at its 472-bed Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Ore., if insurers agreed to make PeaceHealth their sole preferred provider for all services.

Initially, a trial court agreed with McKenzie-Willamette, but the appeals court has now reversed the decision.