The Federal Trade Commission announced a consent agreement barring not-for-profit Southwest Physician Associates, Dallas, from collectively negotiating fees or other competitively significant contract terms on behalf of its 1,000 physician members. The consent agreement is effective for 20 years. The FTC alleged that instead of acting as simply a messenger to deliver contract terms from insurers to physicians, the organization implemented agreements on prices and other contract terms and failed to inform members of offers it considered insufficient. At deadline, Southwest Physician officials could not be reached for comment. A week ago, the FTC settled price-fixing allegations against two San Diego County anesthesiology groups. -- by Mark Taylor
Dallas physicians settle FTC price-fixing charges
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