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The parent company of Presbyterian’s health care network has sued insurer Aetna – alleging unfair competition, defamation and the misuse of trade secrets – escalating tensions between the two as they seek to negotiate a new contract.

The suit, filed in Mecklenburg Superior Court, comes a few weeks after Aetna announced it would end its contract with Novant Health on July 1 if the groups don’t reach an agreement on how much the insurer should reimburse Novant to provide medical services.

That could leave about 125,000 Charlotte-area Aetna customers out of network – and paying more out of pocket – to use Presbyterian Healthcare services. Novant, based in Winston-Salem, operates medical facilities and hospitals, serving more than 5 million people across the Carolinas and Virginia.

via Novant sues Aetna over contract dispute – CharlotteObserver.com.