Landmark Ruling for Healthcare Providers in Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation

April 6, 2018

Yesterday, Federal District Court Judge R. David Proctor issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part Provider Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the Antitrust Standard of Review in the In re Blue Cross and Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation. Copies of the Memorandum Opinion and Order are available at our website, http://www.whatleykallas.com/.

The Court found the market allocation scheme the Blues impose on healthcare providers and subscribers, combined with their so-called “Best Efforts” restrictions on non-Blue branded business, are to be analyzed under the per se standard of review. In reaching this conclusion, the Court noted that the Blues’ exclusive service areas are at least as anticompetitive as those found to be per se unlawful in binding United States Supreme Court precedent. While the Court also ruled that the Provider Plaintiffs’ Blue Card price fixing claims are due to be analyzed under the rule of reason, it left open the question of whether the Provider Plaintiffs’ Blue Card group boycott claims were appropriate for per se treatment under the antitrust laws.

Edith Kallas and Joe Whatley of Whatley Kallas, Co-Lead Counsel for the Healthcare Provider Plaintiffs, stated that “we are very pleased with the ruling and look forward to continuing to represent the interests of healthcare providers throughout the country in remedying the Blues’ anticompetitive conduct.”

The Provider Plaintiffs allege that the Blues’ practice of dividing the United States into exclusive service areas and fixing the reimbursement rates paid to healthcare providers violates federal antitrust law. The Court has rejected multiple attempts by the Blues to dismiss the litigation. The case, In re Blue Cross and Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation, MDL 2406, 2:13-cv-20000-RDP, is currently pending the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

The lawyers of Whatley Kallas, LLP have been repeatedly recognized in legal publications, such as The National Law Journal and American Lawyer, by their peers and by leaders of organized medicine for their work in the healthcare field. For more information, go to: http://www.whatleykallas.com/.

Contact: Joe R. Whatley, Jr. and Edith Kallas, Whatley Kallas LLP: (800) 745-8153

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