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Health First anti-trust lawsuit allowed to continue

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An anti-trust lawsuit against Brevard County’s biggest hospital system has cleared its first court hurdle.

As Health News Florida’s Abe Aboraya reports, the plaintiffs in the case say Health First’s monopoly results in higher prices for consumers.

U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton is allowing the Omni Healthcare versus Health First suit to continue. Omni Healthcare is a Brevard County physician practice.

The case alleges that Health First has a monopoly on South Brevard County’s health care market. Health First owns the major hospital, a for-profit health insurance plan and the area’s largest physician practice as well.

The plaintiffs say that means higher prices and lower quality for consumers.  They’re seeking $100 to $125 million in damages, according to previous reports.

They also want the court to dissolve exclusive patient referral arrangements to Health First facilities and doctors, and undo the hospital’s purchase of the MIMA doctor group.

Check here to download the latest ruling (PDF), and check here to read the initial complaint (PDF).

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

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