Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, FTC Matter No: V100017
I am concerned that as ACOs form, in the name of better care, large health care organizations will dominate most urban centers. In doing so, any physician who wants to try to set up a private practice will essentially be left out of the market. ACOs will limit patient choice to going to a limited number of large health care organizations. Within ACOs, there will be a built in conflict of interest for a primary physician to selectively refer to the ACO's specialty physicians to "share in the cost savings." The ACO will end private practice medicine. Currently a private practice physician can offer the same service for less cost compared to a hospital. Once there are no private practice physicians, this competition will be lost and patients will have much less choice.