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BCBSM Lawsuit Settlement May Bode Well for ADA

January 12, 2021

Delta Dental antitrust litigation

In the March 2020 issue of the MDA Journal I wrote about the antitrust lawsuits that had been filed against Delta Dental by the ADA and others. That column speculated that success in similar antitrust litigation against Blue Cross Blue Shield pending in an Alabama federal court may have been the reason plaintiffs filed their cases against Delta Dental. The allegations of anticompetitive conduct made against Blue Cross Blue Shield are very similar to the allegations made against Delta Dental.

In early December, an Alabama federal district court judge granted preliminary approval of a $2.67 billion settlement in the case. In addition to the payment of this sum, Blue Cross Blue Shield reportedly agreed to make several changes to its operations, including significant changes to several terms contained in its agreements with its member Blues plans that were deemed to be anticompetitive and illegal. All the specific details of the settlement are not yet known publicly, and how the changes required by the settlement will directly or indirectly affect health care providers is not known.

Time will tell what specific impact, if any, this proposed settlement will have on the Delta Dental antitrust litigation. However, this court’s favorable view of the plaintiff’s claims and now approval of such a large settlement bodes well for the ADA and other plaintiffs.

Can a dentist hire a PA?

Question: I am an oral surgeon and would like to hire a physician assistant to help me with my surgical cases. The PA would perform health assessments, assist with surgical procedures (sutures placement, perform local anesthesia, etc.), start IV’s, and perform post-operative assessments. PAs are trained and qualified to do all these tasks. Can a dentist hire a PA in Michigan?

Read the complete answer in the Journal of the Michigan Dental Association on page 26.

About the author:

Daniel J. Schulte answer questions about health care lawDaniel J. Schulte has more than 25 years of experience helping clients solve tough problems and capitalize on opportunities that require a blend of business and legal expertise. His practice focuses on addressing the legal, business, licensing, and regulatory challenges of health care professionals, organizations, and facilities. Dan understands how legal issues impact business objectives and, as a result, offers his clients practical, results-oriented advice. He is a Certified Public Accountant, former managing partner and current executive committee member of the firm. Dan also serves as co-chair of the firm’s Health Care Practice Group.


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