REDDING, Calif. (CN) – Anthem Blue Cross abused its regional monopoly of health insurance through harassment, coercion and threats, the Shasta Regional Medical Center claims in Shasta County Court. “Blue Cross’ unlawful, unfair and dangerous conduct will eliminate competition and, more importantly, create a crisis in the healthcare delivery system in the region,” the hospital says.
Prime HealthCare Services-Shasta, which assumed control of the hospital in 2008, says it tried to negotiate a new contract with Anthem. It says Anthem refused, and falsely told members they would not be covered if they sought emergency room treatment at the hospital, threatened to cancel members’ policies, refused to recognize rights of Medicare beneficiaries, tried to force doctors to be “participating or contracting” physicians, and refused to properly reimburse the hospital for claims.
The hospital demands damages for illegal antitrust tying, illegal group boycott, unfair competition, interference and money owed. It is represented by Michael Sarrao.