State & Fed. Govt. Sue MI Blue Cross

Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield is being sued by not only the state, but the federal government.

The U.S. Justice Department and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox’s office have co-filed the suit.

They accuse Michigan Blue Cross of discouraging competition by engaging in practices that raise hospital prices.

The suit targets “most favored nation” clauses between Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield and health care providers which, according to the government, essentially guarantee that no competing health care plan can obtain a better rate.

The government claims Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield has most–favored–nation clauses or similar language in contracts with at least 70 of 131 general acute care hospitals in the state.

Quite a few U.P. hospitals are in that group, including Marquette General.

The lawsuit said that Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield intended to raise hospital costs for competing health care plans and reduce competition for the sale of health insurance.