DETROIT—Michigan hospitals have asked a federal judge to dismiss allegations of anti-competitive behavior leveled by the city of Pontiac, Mich. Ascension Health and 21 hospitals along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan were sued by the city in January over contract clauses to guarantee the insurer lower rates than its competitors. The hospitals claim the city's allegations are too weak for the lawsuit to continue, according to a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The motion dismisses various allegations by Pontiac as “threadbare” and “vague.” Pontiac's lawsuit followed the October antitrust complaint brought by the U.S. Justice Department and Michigan attorney general, which alleged the Michigan Blues' most-favored-nation contract clauses shut out competition and raised prices. The insurer rejected the claims and asked the court to throw out the lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood did not issue a decision at an April 19 hearing on the insurer's motion to dismiss the Justice Department lawsuit.
Regional News/Midwest: Michigan hospitals seek dismissal of anti-competion charges, and other news
OAK BROOK, Ill.—Advocate Health Care and Advocate Physician Partners have entered into a “clinical affiliation” with MinuteClinic, a Woonsocket, R.I.-based operator of retail clinics and a division of CVS Caremark. The deal calls for Advocate Physician Partners to serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic's 23 facilities in the Chicago area and downstate Bloomington, Ill. Signs informing patients of the Advocate affiliation will be posted at those MinuteClinic locations. According to a news release, this arrangement includes collaboration on “disease management initiatives.” The American Academy of Family Physicians dropped its support of retail clinics last year when MinuteClinic and other convenient-care providers started offering services related to management of diabetes, hypertension and other chronic conditions. MinuteClinic announced a similar arrangement with the Cleveland Clinic in 2009.
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