IHS Dialysis Claims DaVita Monopolizes Dialysis

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MANHATTAN, N.Y.—In a federal antitrust complaint, a competitor claims that DaVita, the second-largest provider of dialysis in the United States, is monopolizing the industry through "exclusive, long-term, illegal, or predatory contracts" with doctors, drug companies and managed-care companies.

IHS Dialysis, which operates in New York City and Massachusetts, claims that DaVita has monopolized, or tried to monopolize, the market for dialysis since 2007.

IHS claims DaVita has done this by "(a) entering into exclusive, long-term, illegal, or predatory contracts or agreements with nephrologists and other referral sources or other these [sic] referrals to lock-up a significant number of patient referrals on a long-term basis; (b) entering into exclusive, long-term, illegal or predatory contracts or agreements with managed care companies to lock-up a significant numbers of covered lives on a long-term basis; (c) entering into exclusive, long-term, illegal or predatory agreements with pharmaceutical companies to give them needed pharmaceutical products at extremely favorable, and, in some cases, predatory pricing that is not available to HIS Dialysis or other competing outpatient dialysis services providers; ... and (e) engaging in inappropriate and predatory business conduct designed to prevent the potential new entrants to gain any foothold in the market."

IHS claims DaVita violated antitrust laws by preventing it from establishing dialysis clinics in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Westchester, N.Y., and in Quincy, South Shore and south Boston, Mass.

IHS, based in Boca Raton, Florida, claims that "there are ... significant barriers to entry in these markets, the most significant of which is locating a nephrologist with an established referral base to serve as the facility's medical director."

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