BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Whatley Kallas Litigation and Healthcare Group has filed the first antitrust action on behalf of healthcare providers challenging the restrictions of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association that prohibit its licensed Blue Cross Plans from competing against each other. Conway v. Blue Cross, CV-12-2532-S (N.D.AL). The complaint was filed in the Northern District of Alabama where Blue Cross of Alabama dominates the market with more than 90% of the health insurance business in the state. The action names 45 Blue Cross Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association as defendants. In presenting the Affordable Care Act to Congress, President Obama described Blue Cross of Alabama as the poster-child for health insurance market dominance.
In May, Whatley Kallas launched a national, full-service litigation and healthcare firm to address the most pressing issues in the evolving healthcare market such as increased governmental regulation and aggressive tactics by health insurers. The firm has a long history of representing healthcare providers and members of the organized medical community in addition to negotiating fair contracting, fair processes, and proper reimbursement for in-network and out-of-network providers.
Since a Department of Justice investigation disclosed the anti-competitive practices of many of the Blue Cross licensees, subscribers and plan sponsors have filed cases in a number of states to recover excess premiums paid for health insurance. Those same anti-competitive practices reduce payments to healthcare providers and increase the profits and reserves of the insurance companies.
"Our economy thrives on competition. Where there is true competition, everyone benefits including doctors and other health care providers of this country," said Joe R. Whatley, Jr., senior partner with the firm.
The firm's involvement in this lawsuit illustrates Whatley Kallas' continued commitment to the representation of healthcare providers.
"It is our hope that this action, like other actions we have taken on, will result in a more level playing field between the healthcare providers of this country and the insurance companies they do business with on a daily basis," said Edith M. Kallas, also a senior partner.
SOURCE Whatley Kallas Litigation and Healthcare Group