Attorney General v. Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, LLC (Fl. Cir. Ct., Leon Cty., Apr. 30, 2020)
Florida reached a multimillion-dollar agreement with one of the largest oncology medical practices in Florida to resolve state antitrust and consumer protection concerns. The proposed consent decree with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC follows a civil antitrust investigation into whether the health care provider entered into illegal agreements with competitors that allocated geographic…
Plaintiff state sought to enjoin two transactions. The first was the acquisition by CHI Franciscan, a health system on the Kitsap Peninsula, of WestSound, an orthopedic physician practice. The second was CHI’s agreements with The Doctors Clinic (TDC), a multispecialty physician practice, under which TDC would receive CHI Franciscan’s negotiated reimbursement rates with payers. TDC and CHI Franciscan remain separate entities. The state alleged that the purpose of these transactions was to “win the ability to charge higher rates for physician services, and to collectively gain negotiating clout over healthcare payers by removing head-to-head competition.” The state also alleged that the affiliation between Franciscan and TDC is a price-fixing agreement which has led to increased wait times, difficulty in scheduling procedures, and a reduction in patient choice of services and locations. The parties reached a settlement that 1) bars CHI Franciscan from entering into similar agreements in the future; 2) requires the health system to give the Attorney General’s Office advanced notice of future arrangements that could decrease competition; 3) divest its controlling interest in an outpatient surgery center it acquired in Silverdale; 4)requires primary care physicians and orthopedists at The Doctors Clinic to contract with insurers separately from CHI Franciscan if the insurers desire; 5) forces CHI Franciscan to allow for incentive-based payments to The Doctors Clinic physicians for providing higher quality of care, instead of higher patient volume; 6) requires Franciscan and The Doctors Clinic to notify Kitsap Peninsula imaging patients of imaging facility options available to them other than Harrison Medical Center and 7) pay up to $2.5 million as a cy pres distribution, to be distributed by the Attorney General’s Office among at least four health providers to increase access to health care on the Kitsap Peninsula. The grant money will go toward direct patient services.
The FTC and the state of North Dakota filed suit seeking to block Sanford Health’s proposed acquisition of Mid Dakota Clinic, alleging that the deal would violate antitrust law by significantly reducing competition for adult primary care physician services, pediatric services, obstetrics and gynecology services, and general surgery physician services in the greater Bismarck and Mandan metropolitan area. Sanford and Mid Dakota were each other’s closest rivals in the four-county Bismarck-Mandan region of North Dakota, and the merger would create a group of physicians with at least 75 to 85 percent share in the provision of adult primary care physician services, pediatric services, obstetrics and gynecology services. The district court granted the injunction. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, and the parties abandoned the transaction.
Health system sought to purchase two cardiology practice groups in the Portland Maine area and employ them at its Portland hospital. On two previous occasions, the practice groups had sought to merge and the Attorney General had disapproved the transaction. The parties agreed to a settlement with a number of injunctive provisions for a term of five years.
Complaint, parallel to FTC action against same Defendants, charges that PHO engaged in price-fixing and concerted refusals to deal in contracting with managed care payors.
Maine v. Central & Western Maine Regional PHO, Inc., 1996 WL 157202 (Me.Super.), 1996-1 Trade Cases P 71,320
Complaint under state Hospital Cooperation Act regarding merger of 4 physician-hospital networks into regional network to jointly negotiate with managed care. Resolved by Consent Decree.
Maine challenged merger of cardiac surgere practices.
Texas filed suit against defendants for civil penalties, injunction and attorney fees, alleging defendants conspired to restrain trade in the provision of otolaryngology physician services in San Angelo, Texas & conspired to boycott a San Angelo otolaryngologist.
FTC and Puerto Rico v. College of Physician-Surgeons of Puerto Rico, No. 971 0011(D.P.R. Oct. 2. 1997)
Puerto Rico College of Physician surgeons sought to act on behalf of all Puerto Rico doctors to raise prices paid by the state for indigent care, and called for a strike which resulted in increaed hospital costs for consumers.