Fort Myers Physician Competition Lawyers
Standing Up for Physician Rights to Collaborate and Compete in the Market
The healthcare industry and market are constantly changing, often in opposite ways. For example, new technology and pharmaceutical advancements make it easier for physicians to provide a variety of services to best treat the unique medical conditions of patients. On the other hand, improving technology and medications can drive hospitals and established facilities to become profit-hungry, often at the expense of both patients and physicians.
When physicians try to compete with hospitals and large medical groups, they can often experience retaliative conduct that aims to restrict their practice. In some situations, the conduct can be unethical and may violate federal antitrust laws. Physicians experiencing this type of restriction should speak with our experienced Fort Myers physician competition lawyers at the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. as soon as possible.
Standing Up to Hospitals
The Sherman Antitrust Act prohibits companies in all types of industries from engaging in unreasonable acts that cause a restraint of trade. Larger entities such as hospitals may not abuse their market power to limit the competition of physicians and smaller medical networks. However, identifying illegal conduct and taking the appropriate action to stop it is no simple task.
Some anti-competitive measures are “per se” unlawful, including group boycotts and price-fixing. However, there are other ways that hospitals can violate the law that are more subtle and less identifiable, but that are antitrust violations nonetheless. It often requires the evaluation of an experienced antitrust lawyer to realize that conduct is violating a physician’s rights.
One common antitrust method of hospitals is signing exclusive contracts with insurance companies that prevent patients from seeking care at other facilities, such as an independent surgery center or medical provider’s office. When these contracts set in place a long-term agreement that effectively destroys the ability of physicians to compete in the local healthcare market, the contracts can constitute antitrust violations. Another common violation involves threatening retaliation against physicians who provide patient referrals to different providers.
Restricting a Physician’s Competition
Physicians who form practice groups to increase their competitive ability and ensure quality of care may also face problems with insurance companies or hospitals that use antitrust laws against the practice group. Insurers may claim that smaller networks who are simply negotiating agreement terms such as reimbursement rates are instead engaging in illegal price-fixing. Joint networks and practice groups should not have to be accused of antitrust violations simply because they are trying to maintain a place in the market, and medical groups should have the right defense in this type of litigation.
Our legal team has over two decades of litigation experience when it comes to antitrust cases and physician competition matters. We know how these laws do and do not apply to healthcare scenarios, and we can help physicians navigate the complex web of antitrust laws.
Consult with Our Fort Myers Physician Competition Lawyers Today
Physicians who are experiencing any type of antitrust allegations or unfair competition issues should not wait to contact the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. Contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss your rights.