SPOTLIGHT: FTC gives Minnesota hospital group a verbal spanking re: Price fixing

The Minnesota Rural Health Cooperative (MRHC), a group of 25 hospitals and 70 physicians in southwestern Minnesota, has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding allegations that the group used anticompetitive tactics to boost reimbursement rates from health insurers, reports the FTC. But how much the settlement really means in practical terms remains a big question given that, during the FTC's investigation, Minnesota passed legislation allowing state officials to review and approve contracts negotiated by healthcare provider cooperatives. "If approved, jointly negotiated contracts may be beyond the reach of the antitrust laws," said the FTC. FierceHealthFinance