Oct 17, 2019

Sutter Health settles antitrust case

Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Sutter Health has agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing the hospital system of price-gouging, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Spokespeople for California's attorney general and Sutter told Axios the terms of the settlement are confidential, and they could not comment further until the court approved the deal.

The big picture: Hospital systems have never been more concentrated, and this is now the second major settlement in the past 12 months involving a state going after alleged anticompetitive activity from dominant hospitals. The first involved Atrium Health.

Go deeper

FTC wants data on merging hospitals

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Five health insurers and two hospital systems have until January to send patient billing data, salary data and other information to the Federal Trade Commission as part of a study looking into hospital merger reviews.

Why it matters: The FTC has been skeptical of so-called "certificates of public advantage" — policies that some states adopt as a workaround to approve hospital mergers while avoiding federal antitrust scrutiny.

Go deeperArrowOct 22, 2019

Cardinal Health sets aside $5.6 billion for opioid lawsuits

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Drug distributor Cardinal Health registered a $5.6 billion pre-tax charge in the third quarter, saying the company "agreed in principle to a global settlement" with states, cities and others to pay that amount over 18 years to resolve the opioid cases.

Why it matters: Cardinal is the first company to set aside billions of dollars in preparation for any national opioids settlement, even though a definitive settlement agreement has not been finalized.

Hospitals still want to cash in despite the rise of outpatient clinics

Photo: David Sacks/Getty Images

Hospital beds are not filling up like they used to, but that doesn't mean hospitals want their beds to be empty.

What they're saying: Even though more patients are being treated in outpatient clinics rather than hospitals, "we'll still be able to keep our beds pretty full," Don Scanlon, chief financial officer at Mount Sinai Health System, said this week at an investor lunch held at Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York City.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019