The Federal Trade Commission staff submitted comments to the Virginia and Tennessee Departments of Health as the agencies promulgate proposed rules regarding hospital cooperation agreements in Virginia and Tennessee, respectively.
The comments, submitted by staff of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Economics in response to calls for public comments, offer FTC staff assistance to each state’s health department during their reviews of any cooperation agreement applications, to help ensure that any decision regarding the potential benefits and disadvantages of a proposal are based on a rigorous competition analysis. The comments also reiterate the FTC’s longstanding position that legislation purporting to grant antitrust immunity is unnecessary to encourage procompetitive collaborations among health care providers because such arrangements would already pass muster under the antitrust laws, and is likely to harm Virginia and Tennessee health care consumers.
The Commission votes authorizing the submission of the written staff comments, and the delivery of oral remarks during public hearings held by the Virginia and Tennessee health departments, were 4-0. (FTC Files No. V150012 and No. V150013; the staff contact is Stephanie Wilkinson, 202-326-2084).
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