Trial approaching in California hospital antitrust case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin in an antitrust lawsuit against one of California’s largest hospital systems.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and about 1,500 self-funded health plans have sued Sutter Health. The nonprofit health care system has 24 hospitals across Northern California.

The lawsuit alleges Sutter Health uses anticompetitive practices to keep prices high. Becerra said it should not cost patients more money in Northern California for the same care as patients get in Southern California.

A spokeswoman for Sutter Health says the case is not about the company’s prices but about insurance companies trying to maximize their own profits.

Jury selection is scheduled for Monday. Opening arguments in the trial could are scheduled for October.

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