Judge rejects antitrust claims against Memorial Hermann
A jury in Harris County, Texas, rejected antitrust claims leveled against Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, by a group of physicians whose competing hospital in Houston failed in 2007. The investors in Houston Town & Country Hospital alleged that the eight-hospital system orchestrated the hospital’s death after the for-profit competitor opened a few blocks from Memorial Hermann’s 319-bed Memorial City Medical Center, Houston. The lawsuit argued that Town & Country couldn’t secure managed-care contracts because Memorial Hermann threatened to retaliate against insurers who did business with the physicians’ upstart. “The business of healthcare is complicated even for many of those who work in healthcare today, so we are grateful this jury took care to understand the facts,” Memorial Hermann President and CEO Dan Wolterman said in a news release. The lead attorney for the physicians suing the system, Richard Zook, a partner in the law firm Thompson & Knight, said in an interview that he believes the case was a close decision for the jury.