The suit alleges that ProMedica "engaged in a pattern of monopolistic and anticompetitive behavior designed to maintain and increase its dominant market position by limiting patient choice" and caused harm to St. Luke's.
McLaren St. Luke's filed an antitrust lawsuit against ProMedica Health System, the Ohio-based provider organization announced Wednesday morning.
McLaren St. Luke's, a 300-bed nonprofit hospital based in Maumee, Ohio, filed its suit in the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and alleges that ProMedica "engaged in a pattern of monopolistic and anticompetitive behavior designed to maintain and increase its dominant market position by limiting patient choice."
The goal of the lawsuit, per a McLaren St. Luke's press release, is to stop ProMedica from terminating the organization and its physicians from both its commercial and Medicare Advantage health plans at the start of 2021.
McLaren St. Luke's stated that ProMedica's actions were related to McLaren Health Care Corporation's recent acquisition of St. Luke's, which was finalized in August.
ProMedica, a 13-hospital nonprofit system based in Toledo, issued a statement to HealthLeaders about the lawsuit.
"As part of our standard policy, ProMedica does not comment on the details of pending litigation. ProMedica looks forward to demonstrating that this frivolous lawsuit from an out-of-state healthcare system lacks any merit and was filed solely to tarnish ProMedica’s reputation," the statement read.
"This challenge comes as McLaren St. Luke's prepares to make significant investments that will allow our hospital to better serve the community with a broader range of services, which ultimately creates increased competition for ProMedica," Jennifer Montgomery, RN, MSA, FACHE, CEO of McLaren St. Luke's, said in a statement. "By terminating McLaren St. Luke's in-network provider status, ProMedica is penalizing their own members by limiting choice and causing significant damage to our hospital."
The suit also details ProMedica's termination of "eight separate contracts to provide services" on St. Luke's campus and an allegation that ProMedica pressured its physicians to "stop practicing at the hospital."
In addition to the complaints listed above, McLaren St. Luke's stated that the organization has been subject to a "13-year campaign to prevent or suppress competition," including an attempt by ProMedica to "neutralize competition" from the University of Toledo Medical Center by signing an academic affiliation with the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences.
Editor's note: This story was updated with a response from ProMedica.
Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of McLaren Health Care