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Health First Lawsuit Woes Grow

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

Brevard County’s Health First is again the target of a lawsuit.

Competitor Parrish Medical Center is asking a judge to block Health First’s purchase of Space Coast Cancer Center, which has locations in Merritt Island, Titusville and Viera. The suit accuses Health First of violating anti-trust laws and creating a monopoly for health services in Brevard County.

Health First owns four hospitals, a large doctor group and a health insurance company in Brevard. Health First is also the target of antitrust and whistleblower lawsuits.

Matthew Gerrell, vice president of communications for Health First, said the lawsuit is both frivolous and expensive.

“It will be in the millions of dollars that will be diverted from what could be used to help Parrish Medical Center patients and Health First patients,” Gerrell said.

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.