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The FTC/DOJ ACO Antitrust Enforcement Policy Statement: Reconciling Collaboration and Competition
October 17, 2011 - October 18, 2011
Antitrust laws and health care reform have the same ultimate goals — lower costs and higher quality healthcare services. But some claim that their means to these ends are divergent and incompatible. Reform, particularly as exemplified by the Medicare ACO Shared Savings Program, emphasizes collaboration among providers. The antitrust laws, on the other hand, promote competition, and some types of collaborative activities can raise serious antitrust concern if the participants have not integrated their delivery of care in ways likely to achieve significant efficiencies or if the group obtains the ability to raise prices. On March 31, in an effort to reconcile these approaches and in conjunction with CMS’s proposed ACO regulation, the FTC and DOJ issued for public comment their proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding ACOs, which explains how ACOs can function within the antitrust laws. At the same time, however, the proposed Statement imposes regulatory hurdles on their ability to do so.
For more information, visit: www2.americanbar.org/calendar/washington-healthcare-summit-2011/.