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April 27, 2022

Legal Gray Area Remains for Payer Contracting Practices Despite Sutter Health’s Big Win in Landmark Antitrust Trial

This Bulletin is brought to you by AHLA’s Antitrust Practice Group.
  • April 27, 2022
  • Kaj Rozga , Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Sutter Health was handed a complete victory by jurors in a trial ending Sutter’s decade-long legal battle with the California health care system. A nine-person jury answered the minimum two questions needed to rule in Sutter’s favor, unanimously rejecting the plaintiffs’ theory that Sutter engaged in payer contracting practices that could be potentially anticompetitive. Though the victory provides a guidepost in a murky area of the law, as discussed below, the ruling is not a free license for providers to engage in the contracting practices that plaintiffs alleged in this case.

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Key Takeaways from Sidibe v. Sutter

Kaj Rozga, Counsel, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, speaks with Michelle Yost Hale, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Paul Wong, Director, NERA Economic Consulting, about the key takeaways from the Sidibe v. Sutter case, which was a class-action lawsuit filed by consumers in Northern California alleging that Sutter Health engaged in anti-competitive contracting practices; the case ended in Sutter Health’s favor. They discuss the two main theories the plaintiffs used to allege Sutter Health’s monopolization of medical services, how those theories may have played with the jury, and practical advice for lawyers and economists who are advising health care providers on these issues.

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