FTC comments on proposed legislation allowing 'cooperative agreements' between health care providers

By Mark Iandolo | Mar 11, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released comments on proposed legislation allowing “cooperative agreements” between health care providers.

“FTC staff are concerned that this legislation is likely to foster mergers and conduct that are anti-competitive, inconsistent with federal antitrust law and policy, and liable to cause serious harm to West Virginia health care consumers,” the comments said.

The staff of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning and its Bureau of Competition and Economics delivered the comments in response to a request from West Virginia State Delegate Mike Pushkin.

As per the comments, the FTC believes Senate Bill 597 assumes that current antitrust laws prohibit health care mergers, acquisitions and collaborations. The staff notes that this is not the case, as long as the mergers are efficient and not anti-competitive.

According to the FTC, federal and state antitrust laws already allow for cooperative agreements likely to benefit consumers.

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