BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — A U.S. district judge has denied a request by ProMedica Health System to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by McLaren St. Luke’s.
On December 29, Judge Jack Zouhary of the Northern District of Ohio ruled in favor of McLaren St. Luke’s preliminary injunction to stop ProMedica from terminating its Paramount insurance agreements with the hospital. ProMedica had sought to dismiss that lawsuit in a motion filed on December 6, but the judge ruled against that action.
In November, McLaren St. Luke’s filed a lawsuit against ProMedica after the health care system announced plans to terminate its Paramount insurance and Medicare Advantage contracts with St. Luke’s physicians on January 1, 2021. That announcement came on the heels of the acquisition of St. Luke’s by McLaren Health Care, a $6 billion, fully integrated health care delivery system that includes 15 hospitals in Michigan and Ohio.
The lawsuit accused ProMedica of violating antitrust laws, alleging that by terminating the insurance agreements, ProMedica had “engaged in a pattern of monopolistic and anticompetitive behavior” and market dominance.
In a statement, ProMedica argued that McLaren entered the region to “steer” patients away from its system along with The University of Toledo Medical Center and Mercy Health System.
Ginger Petrat, McLaren St. Luke’s director of corporate marketing, said that the most recent ruling by the judge is not only a win for McLaren St. Luke’s, but also a win for community members who receive services at the hospital.
“This is very exciting news because it means Paramount subscribers can continue to seek care at McLaren St. Luke’s and keep their WellCare Physicians Group providers in 2021 and without any disruption in service,” she said. “Now, more than ever, our area needs strong hospitals and patients deserve a choice in where they receive care. We are pleased to continue serving the thousands of individuals and families who have come to rely on McLaren St. Luke’s, and we look forward to expanding and enhancing our services in the years ahead.”