Federal Trade Commission releases statement on antitrust regarding ACOs

In conjunction with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services final rules for Accountable Care Organizations, The Federal Trade Commission and Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice has  issued their final “Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program”, according to AHA News Now.

The article states that the antitrust agencies will no longer require mandatory antitrust review before hospitals could even apply for the ACO program, but instead will provide guidance and vigorously enforce the antitrust laws. The Department of Justice and the FTC will offer voluntary expedited 90-day reviews for newly formed ACOs that are seeking additional antitrust guidance. 

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, October 20, 2011; The United States Department of Justice, http://www.justice.gov, October 20, 2011)