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Throwing weight around with contract partners gets hospital in antitrust trouble

For five years, the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston (MHHS) is not allowed to ask health insurers what they pay to other hospitals, among other restrictions contained in a consent decree.

This is because (allegedly) MHHS systematically discouraged health insurers from adding a competing hospital to their insurance coverage networks, and used its leverage to punish health insurers that established contracts with the competing hospital.

MHHS also has to pay $700,000 to the Texas attorney general. See the AG’s press release and the consent judgment.

Update: MHHS denies having engaged in any of the practices prohibited by the consent decree — see their press release.

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