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The practice of sending reimbursements to patients forces health providers to seek money directly from patients, a costly and time-consuming prospect. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.)

A health system is suing Anthem, saying that the health insurance giant paid patients directly for services in an effort to force the health system to join an Anthem network.

California-based Sovereign Health had facilities in five states that offered behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. The system closed last year due to financial troubles, but has an ongoing federal lawsuit against Anthem and its subsidiaries.

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