On September 27, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint in Royal Mile Co. v. UPMC, which alleged that Highmark Inc. entered into an anticompetitive agreement with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) that inflated consumer premiums. The court held that the antitrust claims are barred by the filed rate doctrine because the insurance rates at issue were set by the state’s insurance regulator. The suit specifically accused Highmark, the leading health insurer in western Pennsylvania, of conspiring with UPMC, the leading health care system in western Pennsylvania, to monopolize the markets for medical care and health insurance in the Pittsburgh area. As a result of the alleged conspiracy, the plaintiffs purportedly paid excessive insurance premiums. The court found that state regulators approved the specific base rate Highmark used and the rate formulas. The court also found that it therefore could not interfere with or review the state regulators’ decisions. The court, however, granted the plaintiffs 30 days to amend their complaint.
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