Regarding the settlement of a lawsuit that dates back to 2014, Sutter Health SVP Flo Di Benedetto said, "We were able to resolve this matter in a way that enables Sutter Health to maintain our integrated network and ability to provide patients with access to affordable, high-quality care," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and New York.
- California: Sutter Health in late December announced that it would pay $575 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the California attorney general, unions, and employers that accused the health system of anti-competitive behavior. Under the settlement, which did not acknowledge any wrongdoing, the system agreed to refrain from so-called "all-or-nothing" arrangements, which Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) described as agreements under which the system would require insurers to include all of Sutter's medical facilities if they included Sutter hospitals in their networks. The system also will limit what it charges patients for out-of-network services, the New York Times reports. Sutter SVP Flo Di Benedetto said, "We were able to resolve this matter in a way that enables Sutter Health to maintain our integrated network and ability to provide patients with access to affordable, high-quality care" (Thomas, New York Times, 12/20/19).
- District of Columbia: For the first time ever, women make up the majority of U.S. medical students, according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). In 2019, 50.5% of medical students are women and 49.4% are men, AAMC said in its report. However, men still make up about two-thirds of doctors, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (Searing, Washington Post, 12/23/19).
- New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) late last month announced that the state plans to launch a health care price comparison website in 2020. The website, called NYHealthcareCompare, will feature information about hospital cost, quality, and volume data, broken down by hospital. In addition, visitors will be able to use the site to learn about financial assistance for paying medical bills and how to respond to so-called "surprise" bills (Rappleye, Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 12/27/19).