BERKELEY (KPIX) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit Friday against Sutter Health, accusing the hospital system of anti-competitive practices that result in higher prices for patients.
Becerra said, “These tactics are risking Californians’ lives by driving up the cost of healthcare for everyone. Big business should not be able to throttle competition at the expense of patients.”
He’s backed by a 2015 study that shows bigger chains, like Sutter Health, charge 25 percent more than smaller ones resulting in almost $4,000 more per patient.
Tracey Webb is a former Sutter Health patient.
“Sutter gives great care,” Webb said. “But I did wonder about the charging, some of the rates.
In a written statement, Sutter Health says they have not seen the complaint so they can’t comment on it specifically.
But it does go on to say “it’s important to note that publicly available data show that on average, total charges for an inpatient stay in a Sutter Hospital are lower than what other Northern California hospitals charge.”
Webb said she wants their billing methods to be checked out.
“The doctors have been wonderful and the staff has been wonderful but it needs to be checked because I’ve looked at bills from Sutter compared to Stanford and there was a difference,” Webb said.