(By – Chad Terhune, Kaiser Health News)
Sutter Health, long accused of abusing its market power in California, is squaring off against major U.S. employers in a closely watched legal fight over health care competition and high prices.
The latest fight has erupted over Sutter’s demand that employers sign an arbitration agreement to resolve disputes. Without it, Sutter says employers must pay sharply higher rates — 95 percent of its full charges — for out-of-network care at its hospitals, surgery centers and clinics.
Some companies and labor unions say Sutter’s ultimatum is aimed at preventing them from joining an ongoing class-action lawsuit that accuses the giant health system of imposing anticompetitive terms and “illegally inflated prices.” Read more…
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