Antitrust Law Firms Serving Boulder, CO
The federal government has an interest in protecting competition throughout the country. The primary tools used by the federal government to protect competition are antitrust laws that have been around for over a century. These laws generally prohibit agreements that harm competition and consumers and certain actions by monopolists that are considered anticompetitive. For example, it is unlawful for competitors to fix prices or to divide up markets and customers. Other types of agreements between competitors can raise antitrust issues, if they harm competition. Whether conduct by a monopolist or two or more competitors violates the antitrust laws depends on a number of different facts and must be rooted in market realities.
There are many circumstances in which companies work together in ways that improve competition. For example, competitors may form joint ventures to create new products or ensure stable sources of supply or distribution. Even competitor collaborations that have the best intentions must still comply with the antitrust laws.
Antitrust rules apply to the healthcare. Physicians often find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when dealing with insurance companies and hospitals. They try to provide quality healthcare services while trying to earn a living squeezed on all sides. While different strategies exists for addressing these issues, some solutions can raise antitrust issues. When developing a strategy to deal with insurance companies and hospitals, it may make sense to seek the assistance of an antitrust law firm serving Boulder, CO.
Physicians Networks Could Help Your Business but May Present Issues
One strategy used by physicians is the formation of physician provider networks such as IPAs and other clinically integrated joint ventures. Some IPAs and clinically integrated joint ventures will include physicians that compete against one another. This can raise price-fixing issues if the IPA negotiates health insurance contracts for its members. If the IPA or physician joint venture include a large share of the physicians in a geographic area, the IPA or joint venture could raise market power issues that also raises antitrust concerns. None of this means that IPAs or other physician joint ventures are unlawful or should be avoided. There are a number of ways physicians can address antitrust issues and pursue their overall strategy goals.
The federal agencies that enforce the antitrust laws have provided guidance as to the types of arrangements that raise antitrust issues. Physicians need to factor into their efforts to develop an IPA or joint venture this guidance. . This is where antitrust counsel can help. Antirust counsel can review the business model you are developing and advise you as to potential antitrust risks and how you can address and minimize those risks. Our goal is to help you implement your business strategy consistent with the antitrust laws.
Antitrust Attorneys Help Protect You from Hospital’s Actions
Not only do antitrust lawyers work to keep doctors on the right side of the law, but they also help protect them when someone else is on the wrong side. In particular, hospitals often play rough with physicians, especially when they think that doctors are trying to compete on their turf. For example, hospitals often take exception when doctors try to set up their own surgery centers because it cuts into the hospital’s bottom line. Hospitals make a lot of money off surgical procedures, and they could retaliate against physicians that have the temerity to compete against them.
Hospitals may try to use anti-competitive actions to guard their own place in the market. These practices can include, for example, controlling referrals, exclusive contracts, defamatory statements, and/or abusing regulatory processes. When a hospital engages in anticompetitive conduct, physicians can complaint to a federal antitrust enforcement agency or file an antitrust lawsuit against the hospital.
Antitrust laws are not always easy to understand, and there are added complexities in the healthcare field. We work to protect your rights while helping you when you try to grow and protect your business.
Contact a Boulder, CO Antitrust Lawyer
Contact the attorneys at The Law Offices of George M. Sanders when you need advice about an antitrust issue as it pertains to the healthcare field. We will give you practical legal advice that helps you do what you have been trained for – the practice of medicine.