FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition for Certain Physician Services in St. Cloud, MN

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that CentraCare’s acquisition of St. Cloud Medical Group, also known as SCMG, would be anticompetitive.

According to the complaint, by eliminating SCMG as a potential alternative in the St. Cloud area, the acquisition, if unremedied, likely would have increased CentraCare’s bargaining power vis-à-vis commercial health plans, allowing it to raise reimbursement rates and secure more favorable terms. The acquisition may also have resulted in a loss of quality and service benefits to patients.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement order, CentraCare was required to allow a number of adult primary care, pediatric, and OB/GYN physicians to leave the health system and work for other local providers or establish a new practice in the area, and to provide certain financial incentives to a number of departing physicians

The Commission vote approving the final order was 3-0. (FTC File No. 161 0096; the staff contact is Robert Canterman, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2107)

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about how competition benefits consumers or file an antitrust complaint. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs