Part 2 Consents
OFTACOOP, a Puerto Rico ophthalmologist cooperative, has agreed to settle FTC charges that its actions harmed competition. The complaint charges that OFTACOOP – also known as Cooperativa de Médico Oftalmólogos de Puerto Rico – unlawfully orchestrated an agreement among competing ophthalmologists to refuse to deal with a health plan, MCS Advantage, Inc., and its network administrator, Eye Management of Puerto Rico, LLC. OFTACOOP’s concerted refusal to deal forced MCS to abandon its plan to engage Eye Management to create a lower-cost network of ophthalmologists. MCS was also forced to maintain its then-current reimbursement rates paid to ophthalmologists. According to the complaint, OFTACOOP restrained competition without any justification, in violation of federal antitrust law. The proposed consent order prohibits OFTACOOP from entering into or facilitating agreements between or among ophthalmologists (1) to refuse to deal, or threaten to refuse to deal, with any payor regarding any term, including price terms, or (2) not to deal individually with any payor, or not to deal with any payor other than through OFTACOOP. The order also prohibits information exchanges to facilitate any prohibited conduct, and it bars any attempts to engage in any prohibited conduct. OFTACOOP is also barred from encouraging, suggesting, advising, pressuring, inducing, or trying to induce anyone to engage in any prohibited conduct.