Methodist hospital files lawsuit against OSF hospital

Information taken from the Peoria Journal Star

According to the Peoria Journal Star, Methodist Medical Center filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Order of St. Francis (OSF) Healthcare System, inferring that the medical provider upset Methodist’s chances to be a part of some of the area’s provider networks of profitable health insurers.

The anti-trust lawsuit, a 39-page complaint, was filed this week in U.S. District court. It claims OSF Healthcare took steps to shut down competition, raise costs and reduce quality and consumers’ choices.

This lawsuit examines the competition between Peoria’s two largest medical providers. According to the PJ Star article “Methodist files anti-trust lawsuit against OSF Healthcare,” Methodist’s allegations focus on OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, and its “exclusionary contracts with commercial health care insurers.”

“St. Francis has been so focused on destroying the competition posed by Methodist that it has forced insurers either to terminate pre-existing relationships with Methodist or exclude Methodist from any opportunity to participate in their networks,” read the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also stated a former OSF Healthcare CEO said St. Francis and Proctor hospitals should be the only hospitals in Peoria.

Additionally, the PJ Star article stated, the lawsuit said St. Francis has enough size and market power to bully commercial insurers into exclusionary contacts. However, St. Francis will threaten to withdraw from networks if the insurer brings up a contract with Methodist.

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

The PJ Star reported that Methodist is requesting more than $100 million in damages and a “permanent injuction” against St. Francis.