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The Federal Trade Commission will host a one-day public workshop on May 29, 2008, to discuss collaborations between health care providers to improve the provision of health care services and reduce costs.

The workshop, titled “Clinical Integration in Health Care: A Check-Up,” will feature health care providers, government officials, health insurers and other payers, employers, attorneys, and others who will provide insight on various aspects of “clinical integration” among health care providers. “Clinical integration” is used to describe certain types of collaboration among otherwise independent health care providers to improve quality and contain costs. The 1996 joint FTC/Department of Justice Statements of Antitrust Enforcement Policy in Health Care expressly recognize the potential benefits of this type of integration, and that more-extensive antitrust analysis of the competitive effects of such arrangements may be warranted where collective negotiation and contracting with payers is reasonably necessary to achieve clinical efficiencies.

The workshop is part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to study developments in health care delivery and financing that can inform its antitrust analysis, to ensure that consumers are protected from anticompetitive conduct, and that legitimate efficiency-enhancing joint ventures are not discouraged. The Commission’s staff has issued several advisory letters detailing its views on various proposals by physician networks to achieve beneficial integration of their respective practices, either through clinical integration or financial integration. These and other materials relating to the application of antitrust principles to health care markets can be found at

The workshop, which will be free and open to the public, will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. A government-issued photo ID is required for entry. Pre-registration is not required.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to or by
calling Carrie McGlothlin at 202-326-3388. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodations needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.

For more information on the workshop, including a detailed agenda, directions to the conference center, and other relevant information, please visit:

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
Ken Field
Bureau of Competition