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California AG Details ‘Historic’ Settlement Agreement In Sutter Health Antitrust Case

(Ken James/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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[Updated at 7 p.m. ET to reflect news developments.]

Sutter Health will pay $575 million to settle a closely watched antitrust case filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose office had accused the nonprofit health care giant of using its market dominance in Northern California to illegally drive up prices.

Under terms of , Sutter will continue to operate as an integrated system. But it has agreed to end a host of practices that Becerra alleged unfairly stifled competition, including all-or-nothing contracting deals demanding that an insurer that wanted to include any one of the Sutter hospitals or clinics in its network must include all of them — even if some of those facilities were more expensive than a competitor.

The agreement includes the appointment of a jointly approved special monitor who will be charged with ensuring that Sutter is following the terms of the agreement for at least the next 10 years.

Becerra announced details of the settlement, which he termed “historic,” at a news conference in Sacramento on Friday.

“When one health care provider can dominate the market, those who shoulder the cost of care — patients, employers, insurers — are the biggest losers,” Becerra said. “Today’s settlement will be a game-changer for restoring competition in our healthcare markets.

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California Cost and Quality Courts Health Care Costs Health Industry
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