|Received:||2/10/2010 10:09:08 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Roaring Fork Valley Physicians I.P.A., Inc.; FTC File No. 061 0172|
Comments:This action doesn't make sense because Medicare's fee schedule is itself an instrument of price-fixing. For this IPA to insist on *not* beginning negotiations on contracts using the fee schedule is a step *away* from price-fixing. And asking for COLA provisions, likewise, simply recognizes the need for sustainable contracts which, again, is the *opposite* of linking fees to the Medicare price-fixing scheme which, under the current SGR, results in substantial automatic and arbitrary *cuts* in payments for medical services. This action is not consistent with the spirit and intent of the anti-trust laws. Those laws are legitimately applied to situations like the ADM price-fixing that happened some years ago in which ADM and some overseas firms met to fix prices. Here the price-fixing is contained in the Medicare fee schedule.