“With healthcare costs rising, vigilant antitrust enforcement is an essential tool for protecting consumers,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a news release announcing the settlement. “By eliminating restrictions that curb comparison shopping and interfere with competition among healthcare providers, today’s resolution of our antitrust action allows consumers in the Charlotte area to benefit from competition when making critically important healthcare choices.” (Livingston, 11/15) Licensed practical nurses at the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics walked off the job Thursday, striking after nearly a year of unsuccessful contract negotiations. The 35 nurses say they’re fighting for job protections and fair wages, among other things. In all, the health system has more than 1,000 nurses, including registered nurses, who are not part of the group that is striking. (Schencker, 11/15) A major hospital system based in North Carolina agreed to settle a closely watched Justice Department lawsuit, promising to change practices that antitrust enforcers alleged thwarted competition. The antitrust suit against Atrium Health focused on language in its agreements with health insurers that had restricted the insurers from creating plans that steered patients to competitors offering lower prices, according to the Justice Department. Under the settlement, Atrium said it would stop enforcing such clauses and not seek them in future contracts in the Charlotte area, where it has a large market share. (Wilde Mathews, 11/15) Boston Globe: NFL Awards Boston Children’s Hospital $14.7M To Study Brain Injury Chicago Tribune: University Of Illinois Hospital’s Licensed Practical Nurses Go On Strike Dallas Morning News: Arlington Mental Hospital Faces Charges That It Illegally Detained Patients A North Texas hospital company violated state mental-health codes when one of its facilities illegally held patients, authorities say. A Tarrant County grand jury indicted SAS Healthcare Inc., also known as Sundance Behavioral Healthcare System, on nine charges Wednesday. Between March 2017 and July 2018, Sundance Hospital in Arlington held patients involuntarily past the 48-hour maximum without mandatory court orders necessary to do so, the indictment says. One patient who was admitted for preliminary examination was held for a week in March 2017, it says. (Sarder, 11/15) Boston Children’s Hospital has won a $14.7 million grant from the National Football League to study how hits to the head affect neurological health over time — and to identify potential treatments for brain injuries. The money enables Children’s and four collaborating institutions to study thousands of former NFL players and to investigate ways of mitigating the damage from head impacts. The grant to Children’s is the largest of five awards totaling $35 million that the NFL announced Thursday, as part of its commitment to support medical research. The grants included $1.5 million for a project of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Harvard Medical School to study the short- and long-term effects of concussions on high school athletes. (Freyer, 11/15) Modern Healthcare: Atrium Health Settles Anti-Steering Contract Suit With Feds North Carolina-Based Hospital System Atrium Health Settles Antitrust Lawsuit With Justice Department The suit is part of a broader trend of regulators more carefully scrutinizing contracts between hospital systems and health insurers to prevent insurers from steering patients to certain health care providers. Hospital news comes out of Texas, Illinois and Massachusetts, as well. The Wall Street Journal: Hospital Chain Settles U.S. Suit Over Stifled Competition This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.