Antitrust Regulators Will Be Navigating Health Care Reform In Evaluating New Accountable Care Organizations
While doctors and medical organizations have long had to navigate antitrust concerns in their practices, antitrust regulators will now have to consider health care reform in evaluating collective action by health care providers in groups known as care accountable care organizations (“ACOs”).
ACOs are health care provider groups responsible for the cost and quality of care delivered to a group of patients cared for by the groups’ doctors. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 seeks to foster the growth of ACOs as a way to control costs and boost quality in healthcare with a direction to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to create a national voluntary program for accountable care organizations (ACOs) by January 2012.
As ACOs grow in number and influence during the next few years, antitrust policy will have to take into account the goals of health care reform as antitrust regulators deal with the competing concerns of competition and cost containment.
These antitrust issues are explored by Constantine Cannon partners Axel Bernabe and Ankur Kapoor in a recent article that considers the antitrust implications of ACOs under the Affordable Care Act.