Proposed Consent Agreement: In the Matter of Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative, a corporation, FTC File No. 051 0199 - 00003 #00003

Submission Number:
00003
Commenter:
Darcee Weber
Organization:
PreferredOne
State:
MN
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement: In the Matter of Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative, a corporation, FTC File No. 051 0199 - 00003

To Whom it May Concern: PreferredOne is one of the payers in Minnesota that has contracted with the Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative (“MRHC”) in the past and that is mentioned in the draft Agreement Containing Consent Order to Cease and Desist in this matter. PreferredOne became aware in mid-June that the FTC and the MRHC had reached a settlement agreement in this matter. PreferredOne subsequently set up individual meetings with three of the larger provider members for the purpose of discussing contracting with the MRHC and the individual provider members. In each case, the provider representatives were cordial and accommodating, and willing to meet. At each meeting, discussion was not intended to and did not reach a level of specificity sufficient for PreferredOne to propose contract rates or other important contract terms. PreferredOne asked each provider for suggestions on how to create provider specific payment terms and explained how addressing each provider’s different pricing structure individually would be more effective for all parties. In each case, the provider’s representatives told PreferredOne that the provider’s strong preference is to continue to negotiate through the MRHC. While PreferredOne cannot evaluate the providers’ unwillingness to engage in individual negotiations, we believe it is significant enough to warrant a comment. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Sincerely, Darcee Weber Vice President, Network Management PreferredOne