California Attorney General sues Healthcare Siant Sutter Health

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against Sutter Health on March 30, alleging anticompetitive activities that drove up health care costs for Northern California patients.

Becerra’s legal action comes amid the controversy surrounding the imminent closing of Sutter Health’s Alta Bates medical center in Berkeley.

An investigation by the attorney general’s office found that Sutter Health practices violated the Cartwright Act, an antitrust law. The lawsuit alleges that the not-for-profit organization imposed an all-or-nothing basis that constrained insurance companies’ negotiations, prevented insurance companies from giving consumers lower-cost health plan options, set excessively high out-of-network rates and restricted publication of provider cost information and rates. Read more.