FTC to allow joint contracting by TriState Health Partners in MD

The Federal Trade Commission believes that a plan for clinical integration proposed by TriState Health Partners--a hospital organization based out of Maryland--and Washington County Health System, can provide better and more cost effective care, and thus will not back a movement to produce an antitrust challenge to the action. In fact, the FTC, in its 37-page advisory opinion, says that the joint contracting is necessary and subordinate to the broader effort, and believes that such a program would "foster collaboration among physicians." 

The plan also requires that the hospital contract with payers not involved with the TriState network. While the FTC normally rules against such joint contracting because it "amounts to illegal price fixing," it apparently feels differently this time around. 

Still, the FTC recognizes that the 212 physicians under TriState account for a majority of the area's doctors, and believes that "the inability of payers to assemble provider networks with individual TriState physicians" could be a serious cause for concern. 

To learn more:
- here's the Modern Healthcare article