Atrium Health, a not for profit hospital network based in the Carolinas, announced last week the settlement of an antitrust suit brought by authorities at the federal level and in the state of North Carolina.
According to The Charlotte Observer, the healthcare provider stood accused of hampering competition in the Charlotte market, in violation of the law. Authorities claim Atrium Health used their outsized influence in the region to prevent insurers from steering consumers toward alternative treatment options.
Atrium Health is an enormous presence in the area, with over 40 healthcare facilities across North and South Carolina. It is also the largest employer in the city of Charlotte.
“We can’t allow Atrium to use its size and market dominance to the detriment of healthcare consumers,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein says in a statement.
No fines or other financial penalties will be levied as part of the settlement, but Atrium Health will accept a ban on contracts with insurers that set similar prohibitions to those that raised regulators’ ire.
The healthcare provider admits to no wrongdoing in the settlement.
“Atrium Health has always been a champion for patient choice, and believes its unparalleled quality, value and world-class services are the reason why more people continue to choose Atrium Health over any other healthcare provider in the region,” reads an official Atrium Health news release about the settlement.