Discussions Among Physician Groups - Avoiding Antitrust Issues

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Driven by Federal Health Care Reform and a desire to remain independent of hospitals and health care systems, physician groups are actively exploring different collaborative and alignment options, including the formation of independent practice associations (IPAs) and participation in accountable care organizations (ACOs). Various physician groups which otherwise compete are also discussing the possibility of merging or other integration strategies. These discussions are important and necessary in a health care environment that requires greater access to capital and a coordinated and accountable approach to health care in order to meet payor demands for quality and the implementation of new payment methodologies. However, physician practices need to be mindful that such discussions can raise antitrust concerns.

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