In a conversation today I spoke with Steven Weinstein, a partner with the international law firm K&L Gates. We discussed the group of class action lawsuits filed over the last several months against Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its 38 licensees. The litigation, now consolidated in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama, will be an antitrust battle against all the licensees for “having allegedly divided and allocated among themselves health insurance markets throughout the nation to eliminate competition.”
You may remember that there were a series of class action lawsuits against the the Blues several years back. The various Blues entities ultimately settled for more than $130 million and were given a very broad release [see Rick Love MD vs. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association].
It is likely that the Blues will now use their past release from the Love settlement to try and prevent the antitrust lawsuits from going forward. This case has numerous details and could possibly lead to a favorable result for providers. (Isn’t this reminiscent of the large labs cutting prices to gain market share in California?)
It may be in your best interest to contact Mr. Weinstein about the above or any other payor disputes you may have questions about. He is not involved with the antitrust lawsuit but is knowledgeable about it. Mr. Weinstein has 20 years of experience in payer disputes and related litigation and will be willing to assist you further. He can be reached at 305.5393353 or at Steven.Weinstein@klgates.com.