City of Brevard, North Carolina v. HCA Healthcare and Mission Health SystemDate Filed: June 3, 2022
District Court: Western District of North Carolinaa – No. 1:22-cv-114
Nature of Suit: Anticompetitive Practice
Defendant Type: Provider
Court Document: https://2zele1bn0sl2i91io41niae1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Complaint-City-of-Brevard-v.-HCA.pdf
Filed in federal district court by the city of Brevard, North Carolina, the lawsuit seeks class action status and alleges HCA used its monopoly power to demand anticompetitive terms that inflated prices in Asheville and seven surrounding counties in North Carolina. According to the complaint, Mission Health, acquired by HCA in 2019, had used its monopoly power in the Asheville region to demand anticompetitive terms in insurer contracts since 1995. This market power was shielded from antitrust scrutiny due to a certificate of public advantage (COPA), which was repealed by state law in 2016. With the merger with HCA, the combined entities now have increased market power with control of more than 85% of general acute care (GAC) market in the Asheville region and over 70% of the market of surrounding counties. Using this increased leverage, the health system continued the anticompetitive scheme used by Mission Health, forcing insurers to enter contracts that include all-or-nothing, anti-tiering and anti-steering, and gag clauses. The complaint requests damages and an injunction against such anticompetitive practices.