Antitrust Law Firm Serving Columbia, SC
The federal government takes antitrust laws seriously, both when it comes to enforcement and scrutinizing certain proposed business arrangements. However, this does not mean that every merger, network, or business alliance is illegal. An antitrust law firm serving Columbia, SC, can help vet your business agreements to keep you on the right side of the law.
The penalties for breaking antitrust laws can be steep. If you are sued in a civil lawsuit, you could be found liable for three times the damages that plaintiffs claim to have suffered. The federal government could also fine companies or try to force the breakup of certain business combinations. The government might also try to prohibit certain mergers or tie-ups if it finds that there is a negative impact on competition. Without an attorney, a doctor may only find out after-the-fact that they have done something illegal.
Physicians Often Work Together in the Healthcare Field
These concerns are very much present in the healthcare field. Physicians often try to work with other physicians who might otherwise be viewed as competitors to maximize their leverage against the insurance companies. It seems that everywhere that doctors turn these days, they are beset by challenges to their livelihood on all sides. To better their own position, doctors may form networks or joint ventures in which they work together to share knowledge and deal with the insurance companies.
While the government may raise an eyebrow every time it hears those magic words, these types of arrangements are legal so long as doctors meet certain requirements. For example:
- Physicians cannot do anything to agree on prices without sharing economic risk between them.
- Physician networks cannot become too large by signing up too many providers.
- Providers can be excluded from the network but not for eliminating competition.
There is a fine line between a permissible network and one that is illegal. An antitrust attorney could help you structure the arrangement to make it fully legal. Every healthcare alliance or joint venture needs close review from an antitrust attorney to point out possible concerns to be addressed. At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, we pride ourselves on working with our clients to make deals happen. In other words, we do what we can to help our clients get to “yes.”
The end result is that we assist our clients in bringing about better healthcare outcomes. The Justice Department and FTC are active in healthcare antitrust matters, so doctors should seek the advice of an attorney before they consider any network or deal with another physician. Being proactive not only makes deals happen, but it can avoid problems in the future. At the same time, physicians need to fight for their rights when they are subject to anti-competitive measures.
Contact an Antitrust Law Firm Serving Columbia, SC
The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., helps Columbia physicians navigate the antitrust landscape by advising on potential deals and protecting them against antitrust violations at the hands of hospitals. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your practice handle this complex area of the law.