New Millennium Orthopaedics in 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, 24-physician Wellington Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine and 11-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.
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.