An arbitration panel ruled for Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill., in a private antitrust complaint, dismissing all 11 counts brought by United Healthcare of Illinois in 2003. United accused Advocate and its physician-hospital organization of several antitrust violations, including price fixing and illegal tying arrangements, and the health plan sought $250 million in damages and the right to impose certain contract terms. Advocate filed a counterclaim alleging defamation and violations of state consumer law. The two were obligated by contract to submit to binding arbitration. In a news release, Advocate Chief Medical Officer Lee Sacks called the decision "a sweeping victory for the patients, physicians, employers and others who enjoy the benefits of our clinically integrated approach to care." A United spokesman said the arbitration panel did not affirm either party's claims and required both to share legal costs. -- by Mark Taylor
Panel rejects antitrust claims against Ill. system
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