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Feds Prescribe Antitrust Enforcement For Health Care Organizations

Posted  April 11, 2011

The U.S. Department of Justice and the FTC have issued a Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

The Proposed Statement was made on the same day that the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, filed its proposed rule regarding Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care.

The Proposed Statement contains provisions regarding an “Antitrust Safety Zone” for certain Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”), defines an expedited review process for ACO antitrust clearance, and identifies materials that must be submitted to the DOJ or FTC in order to receive an expedited review.

The Proposed Statement applies only to groups of competitors formed after March 23, 2010, to participate in the Shared Savings Programs.  The Proposed Statement is also inapplicable to mergers, which will continue to be evaluated under the Horizontal Merger Guidelines of the federal agencies.

Public comments on the Proposed Statement are due by May 31, 2011.

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