Health Plan Boycott Lawsuit
Connecticut chiropractic groups to pay $87,000 fine in civil suit.
Health Plan BoycottHartford, CT: (Mar-05-08) The state of Connecticut brought charges against two state chiropractic trade groups, The Connecticut Chiropractic Association Inc. and Connecticut Chiropractic Council Inc., as well as Hartford lawyer Robert L. Hirtle Jr., alleging that they organized an illegal boycott to stop Anthem Health Plans Inc. from having another firm manage their services. The change of management would have resulted in lower payments to the groups for a number of chiropractic services.
The suit claimed that Anthem had planned to hire American Specialty Health Networks Inc. to administer chiropractic benefits for members of HMO and PPO plans starting Nov. 1, 2006. The firm was supposed to establish fee schedules, handle chiropractor claims and determine the number and types of treatments that would be paid for. Sources stated that the fee schedule American Specialty proposed was lower than what Anthem had paid in previous years, so the trade groups and Hirtle orchestrated a statewide boycott, urging chiropractors to opt out of the American Specialty network that would serve Anthem members.
As a result of the boycott, the agreement between Anthem and American Specialty never went forward, leading the Federal Trade Commission to file suit. As part of a settlement reached, the two Connecticut chiropractic trade groups and Robert L. Hirtle agreed to pay a total of $87,000 in civil penalties to resolve allegations. [COURANT: SETTLEMENT IN BOYCOTT DISPUTE]
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