NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) – A nonprofit organization consisting of more than 250 member physicians and a company engaged in allergy testing allege that health insurers are conspiring against them.
Academy of Allergy & Asthma in Primary Care and United Biologics LLC, doing business as United Allergy Services (UAS), filed a complaint on Jan. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Louisiana Health Service and Indemnity Co., doing business as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana; Humana Inc., et al. citing the Sherman Act.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs work with medical providers to treat patients with allergies and asthma. The plaintiffs allege that health insurance company competitors restricted competition for allergy testing and allergen immunotherapy.
"When primary care, family physicians and pediatricians started working in conjunction with UAS in an effort to treat their patients who suffer from allergies and asthma, certain health insurance companies started to conspire together to stop reimbursing for that treatment based on discrimination and the incentive not to pay," the suit states.
The plaintiffs allege that the defendants have "been successful in their group boycott and conspiracy to fix prices in reducing output and inflating prices for their members."
The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek enjoin the defendants from further violating the Sherman Act, award damages in an amount to be proved at trial plus interest, court costs, exemplary and statutory damages, and any further relief this court grants.
They are represented by Patrick S. Ottinger, William H.L. Kaufman and J. Michael Fussell Jr. of Ottinger Hebert LLC in Lafayette, Louisiana; and Casey Low, Dillon J. Ferguson, Benjamin L. Bernell and Liz Kozlow Marcum of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Austin, Texas.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:18-cv-00399-CJB-JCW