Emanate Health has filed a suit against Optum, alleging the company steered patients away from physicians who left Optum to join the Covina, Calif.-based health system, according to a Nov. 20 suit.
The suit, which was filed in federal court in California, accuses Optum of anticompetitive practices such as preventing patients from contacting their physicians who left to join other medical groups.
Additionally, according to the suit, Optum aimed to intimidate physicians who wanted to leave by using tactics like threatening legal action. The lawsuit alleges Optum "acted with intent to destroy a competitive marketplace for physicians and physician group practices."
The suit cites several Optum-employed physicians who left to join Emanate in December 2022. Optum then allegedly transferred the patients of those physicians to other Optum physicians without informing them.
"These are baseless assertions related to a contractual dispute in a highly competitive market, and we will defend ourselves vigorously," an Optum spokesperson said in a statement shared with Becker's.