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Health First Anti-Trust Case Continues


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 decision allows Omni Healthcare, a Brevard County physician practice, to continue its lawsuit against 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 WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.