The two federal antitrust enforcement agencies will scrutinize provider competition and payment models during a two-day workshop this week in Washington.
The event, “Examining Healthcare Competition,” will be hosted by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It follows a recent ruling by a federal judge ordering Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System to unwind its acquisition of a large physician group. It's the first time the federal courts have decided an FTC case involving a physician-acquisition deal.
Scheduled speakers include FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a medical ethicist with the University of Pennsylvania, and William Baer, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.
Topics will include early observations about accountable care organizations and insurance exchanges; trends in provider consolidation; and developments in provider network design strategies.
“This workshop and comment process are expected to identify and examine strategies currently used by providers and payers seeking to reduce costs and improve quality, with a particular emphasis on the strategies' potential implications for competition and consumer protection,” according to a Federal Register notice of the event.
The workshop can be viewed via live webcast on the FTC's website. Public comments will be accepted through April 30.