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Antitrust Matter Involving Competition Between Hospitals

By FindLaw Staff on April 29, 2010 2:34 PM

Palmyra Park Hosp. Inc. v. Phoebe Putney Mem. Hosp., No. 09-11818, involved an action by a hospital claiming that defendant-hospital leveraged a state-granted monopoly in certain medical services to tie favorable insurance reimbursement rates for those services to a refusal to include plaintiff, which competed with defendant for the other medical services, in insurance companies' provider networks.  The court of appeals reversed summary judgment for defendant, on the ground that plaintiff had antitrust standing because it alleged that defendant's exclusivity arrangements forced insurers who would otherwise prefer to deal with both defendant and plaintiff to instead deal with only defendant.

As the court wrote:  "This is an antitrust case between two competing Georgia hospitals. Palmyra Park Hospital, Inc. ("Palmyra") claims that Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital ("Phoebe Putney") leveraged a state-granted monopoly in certain medical services to tie favorable insurance reimbursement rates for those services to a refusal to include Palmyra, who competes with Phoebe Putney for the other medical services, in insurance companies' provider networks. The district court dismissed Palmyra's claims due to lack of antitrust standing. Specifically, the district court held that Palmyra was not an efficient enforcer of the antitrust laws. We disagree; Palmyra has antitrust standing to pursue its claims. We accordingly reverse the district court's judgment and remand the case for further proceedings."

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