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February 2022  

Is There a Legal Duty to Deal with Competitors? Sixth Circuit Antitrust Opinion Examines ProMedica’s Termination of Rival Hospital from Insurance Network

This Bulletin is brought to you by AHLA’s Antitrust Practice Group.
  • February 25, 2022
  • Brian A. Hayles , Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
  • Mark J. Horoschak , Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

The Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in St. Luke’s Hospital et al. v. ProMedica Health System, Inc. addresses whether and when a unilateral refusal to deal can result in competitive injury within the meaning of the federal antitrust laws. The appeal centered on the significance of a “Change in Control” provision in a provider contract between St. Luke’s and ProMedica’s affiliated health plan, Paramount. Under that provision, Paramount could terminate St. Luke’s as an in-network provider if it were acquired by a third party. Paramount exercised that provision, and ProMedica terminated additional clinical agreements with St. Luke’s when it merged with a larger system. St. Luke’s responded by filing an antitrust suit and moved for a preliminary injunction to stay such terminations during the pendency of the lawsuit.

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