Health Antitrust Alert: FTC Staff Takes Positive Second Look at MedSouth's Clinical Integration

An important and often vexing issue for health care provider joint ventures is determining when the venture is sufficiently clinically integrated so that if it contracts collectively with providers, its activities will be tested under the more forgiving antitrust rule of reason. One touchstone in the limited amount of guidance that has emerged since clinical integration was first added to the U.S. Department of Justice's and Federal Trade Commission's Antitrust Health Care Guidelines in 1996 was the FTC's 2002 staff advisory opinion in MedSouth, Inc. At that time, the FTC staff indicated that it reserved the right to come back and monitor MedSouth's activities in practice. The staff has now done so, and on June 18, 2007 issued a follow-up letter to MedSouth that indicated that the staff had no reason to rescind or modify the views it expressed in 2002.

In this Mintz Levin Alert, a review of Clinical Integration and the FTC Staff Follow-up Letter to MedSouth.

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