A federal judge ruled an antitrust suit, filed by former employees of Deerfield, Ill.-based SCA Health, can move forward against Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, DaVita and UnitedHealth Group affiliates, Bloomberg Law reported Sept. 27.
The ruling denied the defendants' motion to dismiss claims that between 2010 and 2019, the defendants engaged in an antitrust conspiracy where employee compensation was reduced by agreeing not to solicit or hire each others' senior employees. The allegations involve SCA Health and United Surgical Partners International, which is now fully owned by Tenet.
Denver-based DaVita and its former CEO was also indicted on three counts in connection with the collusion allegations in July 2021 and SCA Health was indicted in January 2021.
SCA Health, formerly Surgical Care Affiliates, was acquired by Optum, a UnitedHealth subsidiary, in 2017. SCA allegedly had agreements with an unnamed company in Texas from May 2010 to October 2017 and one in Colorado from February 2012 to July 2017.
The judge dismissed allegations against UnitedHealth Group, but gave the plaintiffs a chance to refile an amended complaint that states a viable claim against the company. The defendants have denied claims of a conspiracy.