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Health First Anti-Trust Case Continues

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

An anti-trust lawsuit that claims Brevard County’s biggest hospital system has a monopoly cleared its first court hurdle.

U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton’s decisionallows Omni Healthcare, a Brevard County physician practice, to continue its lawsuitagainst Health First.

The case alleges that Health First has a monopoly on South Brevard County’s health care market and results in higher prices for consumers.

Health First owns the area’s major hospital, a for-profit health insurance plan and the area’s largest physician practice as well.

In the original lawsuit, Omni asked for damages of $100 million to $125 million, according to previous reports.

The practice also wants the court to dissolve exclusive patient referral arrangements to Health First facilities and doctors, and undo the hospital’s purchase of the MIMA doctor group.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFEin Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.