Physician-hospital organizations, common a decade ago but since on the wane, still pose antitrust problems, according to panelists at the latest in a series of hearings on healthcare antitrust issues being jointly held by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department. PHOs essentially were created as a way deter entry by managed-care organizations into some markets while building doctor loyalty to specific hospitals, said Jeff Miles of Washington law firm Ober/Kaler. Although numerous PHOs have ceased to exist, panelists said those that remain need to be monitored for anticompetitive behavior, including price fixing and whether PHOs have been used to block other hospitals from entering certain markets. -- by Tony Fong
PHOs, while waning, still need antitrust review: panelists
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