The U.S. Justice Department secured a settlement agreement from Idaho orthopedic surgeons resolving an antitrust complaint alleging they conspired to exact higher fees from the state's workers compensation program and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Idaho.
Feds, Idaho surgeons reach settlement agreement
The complaint alleges five individual surgeons and the Idaho Orthopaedic Society orchestrated a boycott of patients covered by workers compensation insurance in order to put pressure on the Idaho Industrial Commission to raise rates. The surgeons are Timothy Doerr, Jeffrey Hessing, John Kloss, David Lamey and Troy Watkins. In a second alleged scheme, four of the surgeons—all but Lamey—encouraged their peers to threaten to terminate their Blues contracts in response to new rates they thought were too low.
The proposed settlement, which must be approved by a judge and does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing, prohibits the defendants from making agreements with competitors on fees and contract terms. None of the defendants could be reached for comment.
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