|Received:||10/9/2009 9:27:56 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||In the Matter of Carilion Clinic, a corporation; Docket No. 9338; FTC File No. 081 0259; Proposed Consent Agreement|
Comments:Why I think it is great that the FTC is prohibiting Carilion from restriciting its physicians who have referred patients to the center from continuing to do so for 1 year, what happens after one year? Carilion has been known to flex its corporate muscle on its physicians to only refer within the "family." As it reads now, it is encouraging Carilion to continue these bullying tactics after one year. I did not think this was leagal as it is up to the patient to decide where they want to have their procedures done. As a patient, I am going to chose what I think is best for me, It should not be allowed to be dictated to me. Carilion should never be allowed to disuade its physicians from sending to CAI or any other outside organization for any kind of procedure if it is going to better serve the patient physically or financially. When a Carilion physician dictates that a patient has a procedure done at a Carilion facility, they no longer are looking after the patient's best interests, but Carilion's best interests. The focus shifts from patient care to profit, and thats not good medicine. When competition exists, the patient benefits. This FTC provision allows Carilion to go back to its old tactics after one year, ignoring competition and imposing its higher prices on the patient. I would encourage the FTC to look closer into this ruling and consider revising it to be more geared towards the patient and their individual choice. Carilion will never be forced to look at its pricing and make competative adjustments if it can continue in its profit producing practice of choice restriction. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my concern.