Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative, In the Matter of

Last Updated:
In the Matter of Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative, a corporation
FTC Matter/File Number:

051 0199

Enforcement Type:

Part 2 Consents

Case Summary

The Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative (MRHC), comprised by a group of doctors and hospitals in southwestern Minnesota, agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that prohibits anticompetitive tactics the group allegedly used to increase health insurance reimbursement rates. The MRHC is made up of approximately 25 hospitals and 70 doctors, representing most of the hospitals and half of the primary care physicians in southwestern Minnesota. According to the FTC’s complaint, when members join the MRHC, they agree that the group’s board of directors will negotiate and contract with health insurers on their behalf and that they will abide by the MRHC contracts. The settlement order bars the MRHC from using coercive tactics to extract favorable contract terms from health plans. In addition, the order requires the MRHC to offer to renegotiate all current contracts with health plans and to submit any revised contracts for state approval.