Alabama Price-Fixing Claims Move Forward Against Blue Cross

Feb. 13, 2024
Birmingham Judge rules Blue Cross needs to face price-fixing claims from healthcare providers

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association allegedly schemed with affiliates to underpay providers by billions of dollars, Reuters reporter Mike Scarcella wrote on Feb. 1. In a ruling, U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor gave permission for non-hospital health providers in Alabama to move forward with a trial.

The ruling is the latest setback for Blue Cross. “Dozens of insurance subscriber and healthcare provider cases were centralized in Alabama a decade ago as part of a multidistrict litigation proceeding. The lawsuits alleged a conspiracy among Blue Cross and its members to curb competition, driving up the cost of insurance and driving down reimbursements,” Scarcella reported.

Proctor denied Blue Cross’s bid for summary judgment, stating that healthcare providers “presented evidence of actual injury as a result of the alleged conspiracies.” Blue Cross argued that health providers were unable to present alleged harm or a reliable estimate of damages.

Court files show that an estimated $5 billion in damages were reported by hospital plaintiffs. The claims are part of a broader litigation over business practices by Blue Cross. A trial date has not been set.

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