Appeals court refuses to rehear hospital fight

·2 min read

Sep. 14—COLUMBUS — A federal appeals court has rejected a call from Maumee-based McLaren St. Luke's Hospital for its entire bench to reconsider a decision allowing the insurance arm of competing ProMedica to drop coverage for St. Luke's patients.

The Cincinnati-based U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday said no judge requested a vote to have the court's entire bench rehear the case previously decided by a three-judge panel.

The court said "...the issues raised in the petition were fully considered upon the original submission and decision of the case."

A three-judge panel last month overturned a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary that prevented ProMedica subsidiary Paramount from terminating its agreement to provide insurance coverage to St. Luke's after the latter hospital was purchased by Michigan-based McLaren Health Care Corp.

McLaren St. Luke's had filed a lawsuit against ProMedica, alleging unfair competitive business practices. In a recent filing, it argued that it was urgent that the full bench rehear the case.

McLaren St. Luke's argued that the panel erred in determining that the health system could siphon off cancer patients from ProMedica hospitals.

"However, there was no evidence in the record that McLaren would siphon off care provided to Paramount members, the only 'siphoning' which could make the Paramount relationship unprofitable and therefore justify the Paramount terminations," its filing reads. "In fact, such 'siphoning off' would be impossible, since McClaren's facilities are out of network with Paramount."

ProMedica, in turn, urged that the appeals court act quickly in rejecting the petition for rehearing.

"ProMedica believes that this timeline is necessary to reasonably notify current Paramount members of these approved changes, which allows members to make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage prior to the end of open enrollment," its petition read.

"McLaren St. Luke's attorneys were disappointed in the decision to deny a rehearing," said McLaren spokesman Ginger Petrat. "We continue to urge individuals and employers to consider choosing a health insurance plan other than Paramount, so they can continue to access McLaren St. Luke's for hospital care and its WellCare Physicians Group for medical care."

First Published September 13, 2021, 10:17am

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting