Health Care Antitrust Attorneys
It is not easy for physicians to survive and thrive in today’s health care marketplace. Large insurers and other third-party payers (notably Medicare and Medicaid) have acquired enormous market power, often enabling them to dictate prices and other contractual terms to providers. This often leaves doctors struggling to provide the best patient care while shouldering more of the financial risk.
But there are limits to how far insurers and hospitals can go in squeezing every last dollar out of physicians. These limits are known as the antitrust laws, which are designed to protect competition from the ill-effects of over-concentration and abusive practices that hurt providers and patients alike. At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., we have more than two decades of experience in representing doctors throughout the country who need to litigate antitrust issues. Our qualified health care antitrust attorneys can review your situation and advise you on the best course of action in dealing with abusive payers and restoring balance to your local marketplace.
How Do the Antitrust Laws Affect My Practice?
Antitrust laws are a legal concept originally intended to fight the “robber barons” of the 19th century. In modern practice, antitrust laws are primarily focused on protecting consumers from the harms of monopolistic and anti-competitive conduct. But individual competitors, such as physician groups, can also seek antitrust relief if they have been unfairly hampered in their ability to fairly compete in the market.
Many of the antitrust claims we see at the law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. deal with the Sherman Act, the principal federal antitrust law. As applied by the courts, the Sherman Act bans “unreasonable” restraints of trade. This includes both naked price-fixing agreements as well as group boycotts. For instance, if the local hospitals or insurance companies in your area join together and refuse to negotiate with your physician group, that may constitute an illegal boycott.
Another potential source of antitrust issues is the physician peer review process. Of course, peer review is a critical component of ensuring high-quality patient care, especially when it comes to understanding and correcting medical errors. But as many physicians know from experience, peer review and credentialing is often misused by hospitals that simply want to punish a doctor who is also a financial competitor for patients. The antitrust laws can protect physicians against such abuses of the peer review process.
Contact a Health Care Antitrust Attorney Today
Antitrust law is complex and requires a skilled practitioner who understands its many nuances, especially as they apply to the health care industry. Whether your antitrust problem involves a physician network, competition with hospitals, or peer review and credentialing, the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. can help. Call us today at (312) 624-7642 to schedule a consultation.