CarePoint Health Secures Major Legal Victory in Antitrust Lawsuit
Judge Denies RWJ Barnabas Motion to Dismiss, Allows Landmark Case to Proceed to Discovery
News provided byCarePoint Health
Nov 20, 2023, 2:59 PM ET
Jersey City, NJ, Nov. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CarePoint Health, a leading nonprofit healthcare provider in New Jersey, has achieved a significant victory in its ongoing legal battle against RWJ Barnabas. The Honorable Evelyn Padin, U.S. District Court Judge, presiding over the antitrust case filed late last year by CarePoint has denied RWJ Barnabas' motion to dismiss the complaint, allowing the continuation of the case and rejecting attempts to halt the proceedings. The case will now progress to the discovery stage, where CarePoint expects there to be significant new evidence proving its assertion that RWJ Barnabas has engaged in unlawful collusion designed to drive CarePoint Health out of business and allow it to corner the market on health care in Hudson County, to the detriment of patients and residents.
"This ruling validates CarePoint’s argument and strengthens its resolve to ensure fair competition and accessible healthcare services for the communities it serves,” said CarePoint Health spokesperson Shannon Brennan, expressing gratitude for the court's decision. “CarePoint remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of patient care and advocating for a healthcare landscape that fosters equity and integrity.”
This ruling reinforces CarePoint's steadfast commitment to upholding fair competition and patient access to healthcare services across Hudson County. The lawsuit centers on numerous instances of anticompetitive conduct by RWJ Barnabas since it entered the Hudson County market that were designed to unlawfully damage CarePoint. In making her ruling, Judge Padin asserted that “the complaint contains allegations supporting an inference of antitrust injury” and that “CarePoint has plausibly alleged a conspiracy spanning from RWJ’s entry into the relevant market and continuing through more recent conduct and ongoing harm.”
CarePoint alleges numerous instances of anti-competitive conduct and deliberate attempts by RWJ Barnabas to undermine its operations in the lawsuit. Addressing those claims, Judge Padin writes in her ruling:
“CarePoint alleges numerous instances of RWJ's conduct that, evaluated together, plausibly coalesce into an alleged scheme: RWJ entered the Hudson County acute care market by opening the SED with the aid of enhanced reimbursement from Horizon, steered patients and doctors away from CarePoint, and interfered surreptitiously with CarePoint's attempted sale and employees, all in an effort to take over the relevant market from CarePoint."
Underscoring the seriousness of these allegations, CarePoint’s financial position has continued to be threatened due to lack of support and anti-competitive practices employed by RWJ Barnabas. According to the American Hospital Association (2022), nursing costs escalated by 19.1%, Supplies by 20.6% and drugs up sharply by 39.6% as an aftermath of the pandemic. Notably, the allocation of $700 million in funding to New Jersey hospitals through the American Rescue Plan Act meant to support hospitals included no funding for CarePoint Health System hospitals despite the critical role they played saving lives during the pandemic. This further highlights the disparities faced by the organization in support compared to other healthcare entities. Since 2021, CarePoint has seen 57,000 patients in the Emergency Room, 41,000 patients in its clinics who have no insurance, as well as 12,000 homeless patients. Charity care funding and other subsidies do not scratch the surface of the expense these hospitals bear.
CarePoint Health looks forward to the continuation of legal proceedings and remains committed to its mission of providing exceptional care while challenging anti-competitive practices in the healthcare industry.
About CarePoint Health
CarePoint Health brings quality, patient-focused health care to Hudson County. Combining the resources of three area hospitals, Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital in Jersey City, and Hoboken University Medical Center, CarePoint Health provides a new approach to deliver health care that puts the patient front and center. CarePoint Health leverages a network of top doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals whose expertise and attentiveness work together to provide complete coordination of care, from the doctor's office to the hospital to the home. Patients benefit from the expertise and capabilities of a broad network of leading specialists and specialized technology. At CarePoint Health, all medical professionals emphasize preventive medicine and focus on educating patients to make healthy life choices. For more information on its facilities, partners and services, visit www.carepointhealth.org.
Philip Swibinski CarePoint Health 2019788651 firstname.lastname@example.org
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