The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil investigation into possible anticompetitive behavior by Massachusetts-based Partners HealthCare System Inc. In a letter sent to Partners and the state's three largest health insurers on April 19, investigators from the Justice Department’s antitrust division demanded documents relating to Partners' "contracting and other practices in healthcare markets in Eastern Massachusetts." The letter said the probe sought to determine whether the practices violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, which bars companies from using their market power to limit trade or artificially raise prices. The parties were told to respond by May 19, the Boston Globe reports.
Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.