New Millennium Orthopaedics, Cincinnati, an independent practice association, will disband under a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission settling allegations of price-fixing and restraint of trade. The IPA and the two orthopedic groups it represented, 22-physician Wellington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and 10-physician Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, settled without admitting wrongdoing. The groups were barred from collective bargaining in the future, but the FTC allowed the possibility of risk-sharing agreements or clinical integration. New Millenium said it disagreed with the FTC that the IPA took too little financial risk to justify collective bargaining but agreed to settle to avoid a trial. "Beacon and Wellington vigorously dispute the FTC's characterization of New Millennium's operations," the IPA and orthopedics groups said in a joint news release. The FTC has reached price-fixing settlements with more than 20 IPAs and physician-hospital organizations since 2001. -- by Mark Taylor
Cincinnati IPA to shut down under FTC settlement
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