How True Clinical Integration Of Hospitals And Physicians Is Impacted By The Federal Trade Commission Policy Statements

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Introduction The purpose of this paper is to discuss how true clinical integration of hospitals and physicians is impacted by The Federal Trade Commission policy statements. In this context, the term true clinical integration is used to describe engagement and alignment among hospitals and physicians to achieve meaningful clinical process redesign that can change culture and lead to lasting differences in the way care is delivered. This is to differentiate the term clinical integration as an alignment vehicle principally for antitrust liability avoidance purposes. Clinical integration has commonly been viewed primarily as a legal concept that allowed unrelated fee-for-service providers to negotiate joint contracts with payers.…show more content…
Section 5 of the FTC Act provides the FTC and DOJ enforcement powers when unfair methods or acts which prohibit competition occur (Pozgar, 2012, p. 98). In general, joint pricing agreements among competitors are treated as per se illegal under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. The Clayton Act includes sections that “prohibit discrimination (e. g., in price), exclusive dealings and similar arrangements”, among corporations (anitrustlaws.org, 2015). The Sherman Antitrust Act makes illegal “every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce among the several states is declared to be illegal”. Areas of concern for healthcare organizations include reduced market competition, price fixing, actions that bar or limit new entrants to the field and preferred provider arrangements (Pozgar, 2012, p. 98). The conviction of the FTC remains in that ccompetition in health care markets benefits consumers. That competition helps to contain costs, improve health care quality, and encourages innovation. That the duty of the Federal Trade Commission as a law enforcer is to protect consumers from harm by stopping firms from engaging in anticompetitive conduct and comply with the nation 's antitrust laws (FTC.gov, 2015). In attempts to address the fractionated health
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