A judge has dismissed an antitrust lawsuit brought against an HCA hospital in Salt Lake City by a now-shuttered hospital owned by Iasis Healthcare Corp. Judge J. Dennis Frederick, sitting in Utah's 3rd District Court, ruled that Iasis' Rocky Mountain Medical Center, which closed in 2001, failed to prove that HCA's St. Mark's Hospital used market power to convince managed-care organizations to exclude Rocky Mountain from their networks. St. Mark's offered lower rates to health plans that excluded Rocky Mountain but did not require its exclusion. In granting HCA's motion for summary judgment, the judge wrote that Rocky Mountain's own expert acknowledged that such contracts were common in the industry. The judge said Rocky Mountain failed to show that the contracts, regardless of their effects on Rocky Mountain, adversely affected overall hospital competition. St. Mark's, one of six Utah hospitals owned by HCA, said in a news release that the ruling confirmed its belief that the lawsuit was groundless. Tomi Galin, an Iasis spokeswoman, said the company is evaluating its options, including whether to appeal. -- by Vince Galloro
HCA hospital prevails in antitrust fight with rival
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