Chester County Hospital, West Chester, Pa., withdrew its antitrust lawsuit against Independence Blue Cross and signed a 6-year contract with the insurer. The 223-bed hospital had sought more than $60 million in damages, alleging that Independence had used its market dominance to force the hospital to accept artificially low rates for its services. But hospital officials became satisfied during the discovery phase of the lawsuit, filed in May 2002, that Independence had tried to "balance the interests of subscribers and providers in the marketplace," hospital President and CEO H. L. Perry Pepper said in a news release. "The facts show that IBC and Chester County Hospital are each faced with the same enormous cost pressures confronting everyone in the healthcare system," Pepper said. A hospital spokeswoman said she could not comment further. -- by Laura B. Benko
Pa. hospital ends suit against Blues plan, signs contract
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