Sutter tries to renegotiate settlement
by jerry on June 20, 2020
Following up on news that they reported late last year, Kaiser Health News recently reported on Sutter Health, a large medical system in Northern California, which now seeks to reduce the terms of its settlement. Sutter was accused of anticompetitive behavior and of being responsible for higher prices in their area.
This article relayed that Sutter is asking for the terms of the settlement to be reduced given the financial hardships imposed by the pandemic. The argument that Sutter seems to be making is that they are operating at such a loss that the terms of the settlement (agreed upon before the pandemic), would force them to compromise the quality and/or extent of care they can provide. Apparently, Sutter not only objects to the size of the financial settlement, but also wants to roll back some of the other parts of the agreement, including forcing payers to accept their entire network (or none at all) and limiting rate increases. Clearly, there is a lot at stake financially for Sutter, but the attempt to renegotiate the non-financial terms raises questions around the extent to which Sutter is trying to capitalize on the current circumstances.