Trenton Physician Competition Attorneys
The New Jersey healthcare market is at a critical juncture. While it is now possible for physicians to provide many complex surgical procedures on an outpatient basis, they face resistance from established hospitals who rely on inpatient procedures to improve their own bottom line. This conflict of interest has led many legacy healthcare providers to resort to illegal tactics in a desperate attempt to maintain their de facto monopolies.
The Trenton physician competition attorneys at the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., have more than two decades of experience in fighting anticompetitive practices in the healthcare market. Our practice focuses on representing physicians and physician-owned surgery centers who are struggling to gain a foothold in the New Jersey healthcare market. If your practice has been the target of potentially illegal conduct, we can help you investigate the situation and determine the appropriate legal response.
Dealing With Unreasonable Restraints in New Jersey’s Healthcare Market
At first glance you might be asking yourself, “What do the antitrust laws have to do with healthcare?” Antitrust laws were originally designed to deal with industrial consolidation in industries like oil and the railroads. But antitrust laws apply to all markets, including healthcare, and prohibit “unreasonable” business actions that have the effect of restraining trade.
What constitutes an unreasonable restraint? One of the more common examples in healthcare is abuse of peer review and credentialing process. As you know, these are critical tools intended to identify and remedy medical errors that directly impact patient care. But some hospitals and physicians misuse the system to punish a doctor who may be a more successful financial competitor. Such motives suggest the peer review is a sham covering up the true objective: a group boycott, which can run afoul of federal and New Jersey state antitrust laws.
Another form of anticompetitive conduct that can affect the healthcare market is exclusive, long-term contracts between hospitals and insurers. Such contracts can raise antitrust concerns if they force patients to undergo unnecessary–but more financially lucrative–procedures, or if they have the effect of shutting out all other doctors from the market. Ultimately, antitrust law is about protecting consumers, but that can only happen if outside providers have a fair chance to compete.
Physician groups also need to be aware of the potential antitrust risks to their own operations. Insurance companies have colluded with friendly regulators to accuse doctors of “price fixing”–i.e. threatening group boycotts of their own. Such allegations are generally employed as a hardball tactic to prevent doctors from attempting to negotiate better reimbursement terms. If you are targeted by such allegations it is in your best interest to seek assistance from an experienced Trenton physician competition attorney who specializes in both antitrust law and the healthcare industry.
Call Us to Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Antitrust law can seem overwhelming, especially to a medical professional who has never dealt with these types of issues before. This is why the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., is here to guide you through every stage of the litigation process. We will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome. If you practice in the Trenton area and would like to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call us today at (312) 624-7642.