CHI Franciscan settles antitrust suit after orthopedic group acquisition, physician network affiliation: 5 key notes

Practice Management

Court records indicate Tacoma, Wash.-based CHI Franciscan and two physician groups, including an orthopedic practice, will settle a lawsuit the state of Washington filed against them, alleging antitrust violations, according to a Kitsap Sun report.

Five things to know:

1. The office of the state's attorney general said both sides reached a settlement agreement in principle, but have not released details about the agreement.

2. The trial was set to begin next week, but all sides were able to reach a resolution and the parties have until April 29 to file the dismissal/settlement paperwork.

3. Under the settlement, CHI Franciscan will continue to affiliate with the two physician groups: Silverdale, Wash.-based WestSound Orthopaedics and The Doctor's Clinic, a physician network serving patients across Kitsap, Wash.

4. CHI Franciscan originally acquired WestSound Orthopaedics in July 2016 and two months later signed a professional service agreement with The Doctor's Clinic. The state filed a complaint in August 2017, alleging the affiliations limited competition and could violate antitrust laws.

5. The state also alleged the acquisition of WestSound was an illegal, anticompetitive deal. However, on March 1, the judge filed an order saying the state didn't support its claim that CHI's acquisition of two physician groups "hurt competition."

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