San Antonio Physician Competition Attorney
Monopolies impair fundamental free trade concepts in any market sector. However, in health care, anticompetitive acts also affect the quality of patient care. Fortunately, US and Texas antitrust laws provide you with legal options to protect your rights. To learn more about a private antitrust lawsuit, please contact the Law Offices of George M. Sanders P.C. to schedule a consultation with a San Antonio physician-competition attorney.
State and Federal Antitrust Statutes Prohibit Restraints on Physician Competition
At the federal level, there are two federal laws that prohibit monopolies in health care—The Sherman Act and the Clayton Act. Plus, the Texas Free Enterprise and Antitrust Act of 1983 contains similar bans on anticompetitive conduct. Together, the federal and state statutes make it unlawful for organizations to engage in anticompetitive acts, such as:
- Exclusive dealings contracts and other arrangements regarding where patients can seek treatment;
- Collusion and mergers that lead to monopolies;
- Use of intimidation against providers who send patients to competitors through referrals;
- Group boycotts;
- Price fixing; and,
- Any other conduct that tends to restrain the health care free market.
The US Department of Justice – Antitrust Division and Texas Attorney General are tasked with enforcing these laws and fighting monopolistic conduct. These agencies have the authority to press criminal charges, and can file a civil lawsuit to penalize companies that violate antitrust laws, including businesses in the health care sector.
You Have Options When Government Agencies Fail to Act
To make US and Texas antitrust laws more impactful, the statutes also allow a private business to take action when affected by anticompetitive acts. If authorities decline to proceed through the criminal or civil process, you can file a lawsuit in court to pursue your legal remedies. There are two elements you must prove in a private cause of action based upon antitrust laws:
- Another health care organization has (or is likely to attain) market power that inhibits physician competition; and,
- The offending company acquired (or is likely to acquire) this economic advantage through violations of antitrust laws, instead of (or in addition to) providing better patient care through lawful competition.
A San Antonio Physician Competition Lawyer Will Fight for Your Rights
Though the two elements may seem clear, there can be challenges with proof. For one, there is a fine line between restraints of trade and legitimate conduct to promote one’s business. In addition, organizations that seek to stifle physician competition will attempt to conceal their illegal actions.
Therefore, you need an attorney that has detailed knowledge of the federal and state antitrust laws, extensive litigation skills, and the business knowledge to recognize anticompetitive market structure or conduct. Because investigations are central to a physician competition case, your lawyer should also have access to resources that will dig deep into anti-competitive tactics. If you are successful in proving the above elements, you may be entitled to:
- Monetary damages to compensate you for your losses; and,
- Equitable relief, such as a cease and desist order.
Discuss Your Claim with a San Antonio Physician Competition Attorney
If you are a physician whose business is suffering from another organization’s violation of antitrust laws, please contact the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. to schedule a free consultation. Our physician competition lawyers represent health care providers in Texas and throughout the US.