Saint Francis Hospital sues Hartford HealthCare for alleged intimidation, anti-competitive practices

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Saint Francis Hospital is suing Hartford HealthCare, accusing them of intimidation and anti-competitive business practices.

The 75-page lawsuit claims Hartford HealthCare used a campaign of “exclusion, acquisition and intimidation.” They believe this harmed competition and patients.

The lawsuit states over the last four years, Hartford HealthCare took over numerous practices, penalized doctors who did not refer patients to them, threatened and intimidated doctors who did not fall in line.

View the full lawsuit below:

The lawsuit references specific doctors and exclusive equipment Hartford HealthCare has acquired. It states patients pay more because of all of this too.

Saint Francis is arguing they violated the Sherman Act, which protects free competition.

University of New Haven Professor Audrey Blondin said this will be a challenging fight for Saint Francis.

“It is not black and white,” Blondin said. “None of the law is black and white and it’s very driven and dependent on the times. This case 40 years ago may have had a very different result than what you are going to have today.”

Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer at Hartford HealthCare, told News 8: “Our team is reviewing the claim and our assessment is that the complaint is without any merit. Hartford HealthCare will rigorously defend against these allegations. We deny any of them to be true. Really our focus for all of us is serving the need of the community in Connecticut… In this raging pandemic, we continue to focus on what matters most at the moment.”

News 8 also reached out to Saint Francis Wednesday and their spokesperson stood by the lawsuit, adding, “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that residents of the greater Hartford area have access to health care that is high in quality with lower costs. We were reluctant to take this step, but felt that we needed to act to protect our patients, physicians and the community.”

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