Judge refuses to throw out $34M verdict against RBM

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A New York federal judge has denied a motion to throw out a $34 million jury verdict against CareCore National, a radiology benefits management (RBM) company, in an antitrust case.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler of the Eastern District of New York also denied Bluffton, S.C.-based CareCore’s request for a new trial.

The lawsuit was brought by a group of New York radiology practices that accused CareCore of excluding the practices from insurance networks for upright MRI services.

A statement from CareCore National said the company was “disappointed” by the denial of the post-trial motion.

“We remain confident that we acted properly, in compliance with the law, and in the interest of quality cost effective healthcare,” read the statement. “CareCore is immediately pursuing all available courses of action and are confident that we will prevail in the appellate court.”

CareCore contracts with managed care organizations to provide radiology utilization management for commercial and government program subscribers across the U.S., including networks providing outpatient diagnostic imaging in New York and New Jersey.

The attorney for the plaintiffs also released a statement in response to Judge Wexler’s decision which said the jury was unanimous in finding CareCore had “unreasonably restrained trade” and that it would be very difficult to reverse the verdict on an appeal.

After the initial verdict in November 2010, CareCore reached an agreement with the office of the Attorney General of New York after the state received complaints about the company. CareCore was accused of showing preference for its owners in network decisions, choosing not to contract with qualifying physicians, and the company said it would institute organizational reforms as a result.

CareCore continues to face anti-trust cases from Jericho Specialty Imaging and MDImaging, both in the state of New York.