Piedmont Health Alliance (PHA), Hickory, N.C., said it will fight price-fixing charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission against the physician-hospital organization. A hearing before an FTC administrative law judge is scheduled for March 22. The FTC last month accused the organization and 10 of its physicians of fixing prices for physician services. PHA Chairman Daniel Dillon said in a news release that the FTC's proposed settlement of the charges would be a "death sentence" for PHA. One of three hospitals in the alliance -- Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp. -- agreed last month to settle price-fixing charges with the FTC but paid no fine and admitted no wrongdoing. The other two hospitals have not been charged in the case. -- by Vince Galloro
N.C. physician-hospital group to fight FTC charges
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