“Unprecedented” conditions imposed by the California attorney general on Huntington Hospital’s proposed affiliation with Cedars-Sinai would jeopardize the community’s access to critical clinical programs and services and disadvantage Huntington and its patients compared with other hospitals in the region, the hospital and health system said in a lawsuit filed yesterday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“We are shocked at the unprecedented over-reach of the conditions being imposed,” said Lori Morgan, M.D., the hospital’s president and CEO. “Rather than benefiting our community, the conditions primarily benefit health insurance companies.”
Cedars-Sinai President and CEO Thomas Priselac said the affiliation would not lessen competition based on the Federal Trade Commission’s commonly used competition measure because there is almost no overlap between the Huntington and Cedars-Sinai service areas. He and Morgan said they hope the lawsuit will enable the affiliation to proceed in a manner that meets the region’s health care needs now and in the future.
AHA General Counsel Melinda Hatton said, “We are disappointed that the Office of the Attorney General is attempting to impose unprecedented conditions on this affiliation. These conditions would prevent Huntington and Cedars-Sinai from providing coordinated, specialized patient care and meeting vital community needs, and the court should rule for the hospitals.”