Methodist sues OSF

By Audrey Williams

February 5, 2013 Updated Feb 6, 2013 at 12:00 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Methodist Medical Center is suing OSF Healthcare System for anti-competitive conduct.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District court Tuesday, is seeking damages in excess of $100 million and a permanent injunction against OSF.

The suit alleges OSF has forced commercial health insurers to enter into agreements that exclude its competitors, like Methodist, from also contracting with those insurers.

The suit goes on to say OSF has threatened to withdraw from an insurer network, if the insurer contracts with another provider.

This, Methodist officials claim, has led to higher healthcare costs, higher insurance premiums and reduced consumer choice.

In a statement Methodist's President and CEO, Debbie Simon, said, “We are taking this step only after many years of attempting to resolve the situation without legal action, including a recent conversation with OSF leaders. We at Methodist believe strongly that fair and open competition is needed to ensure patients receive the best price, quality and service in healthcare.”

Methodist officials would not comment further on pending litigation.

Officials at OSF said they reviewing the complaint and aren't in a position to respond at this time.

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