The Federal Trade Commission said it finalized a consent decree with 450-physician ENH Medical Group, Evanston, Ill., resolving allegations that the independent practice association had fixed prices and contract terms for its members. The IPA, affiliated with Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, disclosed the settlement in January. Under the consent decree, ENH Medical Group agreed not to negotiate fee-for-service contracts on behalf of physicians not employed by three-hospital Evanston Northwestern. The IPA did not admit wrongdoing. The FTC accused the medical group of price-fixing in a February 2004 complaint, the same complaint in which it challenged the 2000 merger of Evanston Northwestern and Highland Park (Ill.) Hospital. Evanston Northwestern is expected to finish presenting its evidence in defense of the merger in an administrative law hearing Thursday, with additional briefs, proposed findings of facts and replies submitted to the court between May and June. -- by Mark Taylor
FTC announces final consent decree with Ill. IPA
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