Competitor latest to file suit against Fla. system Health First
A public hospital has joined a number of Florida providers alleging integrated system Health First is engaging in unfair business practices.
Parrish Medical Center, a 210-bed hospital in Titusville, Fla., operated by the North Brevard County Hospital District, filed its complaint against Health First in state court Aug. 27. In Brevard County, Health First owns and operates health plans, hospitals, physician groups, urgent-care centers, outpatient centers, rehabilitation facilities, diagnostic and treatment centers and a network of fitness and wellness services.
Among other things, Parrish alleges that Health First requires its doctors to admit and refer almost exclusively to its facilities; refuses to contract with providers unless they agree to refer almost exclusively to Health First; and won’t allow its doctors to refer to physicians who don’t refer all or nearly all their patients to Health First.
Health First Vice President of Marketing and Communications Matthew Gerrell called the lawsuit “a distraction” and said the system wants to work with Parrish’s CEO to resolve the issues, but he hasn’t cooperated.
Health First faces at least two other ongoing lawsuits targeting its business practices.