FTC Staff Comment to the Virginia Department of Health Regarding Virginia's Rules and Regulations Governing Cooperative Agreements


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12 Virginia Administrative Code 5, Chapter 221


FTC staff submitted comments to the Virginia and Tennessee health departments, in response to calls for public comments, as part of those agencies’ respective processes to promulgate proposed rules regarding hospital cooperation agreements in their states. FTC staff offered assistance to each of the two health departments during their reviews of any cooperation agreement applications, to help ensure that any decisions regarding the potential benefits and disadvantages of a proposal are based on a rigorous competition analysis. The comments also reiterated 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 already would pass muster under the antitrust laws; therefore the new schemes for cooperation agreements would be likely to harm Virginia and Tennessee health care consumers.