Steward Health Care suing Rhode Island insurer

(Boston Globe) Steward Health Care System, which terminated an agreement to buy a Woonsocket, R.I., hospital last fall, charged in a lawsuit Wednesday that Rhode Island’s largest health insurance company blocked the deal by failing to negotiate reasonable health care payments.

In a complaint filed in state Superior Court in Providence, Steward, which runs a chain of hospitals and doctors groups across Eastern Massachusetts, alleged Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island engaged in anticompetitive practices and interfered with prospective contractual relations to thwart Boston-based Steward’s proposed acquisition of Landmark Medical Center.

Steward, owned by the New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, demanded a trial by jury and asked for Blue Cross & Blue Shield to pay unspecified financial damages as well as reimburse its attorneys’ fees involved in taking the court action.

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