Antitrust relief remains a high priority for physicians. Legislation is needed to enable physicians and other health care professionals to effectively negotiate with health plans without fear of violating antitrust laws. Physicians should be allowed to negotiate contract terms that increase patient choice and improve quality of care. Patients and their physicians should make informed decisions about their health care needs, not insurers.
The AMA believes that the rapid consolidation of the health insurance market and the unreasonable, non-negotiable contracts forced upon physicians are clearly evidence that pure application of the antitrust laws is not working as intended. The fact that many physicians feel forced to sign contracts that a reasonable business person would not accept raises serious questions about the dynamic of this market. Antitrust relief legislation would help reduce the critical imbalance in the health care marketplace and restore some power to physicians so they can act in the best interests of their patients.
Antitrust state and federal actions
Statement to the Subcommittee on the Courts and Competition Policy, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, re: Antitrust Laws and Their Effects on Health Care Providers, Insurers and Patients, December 1, 2010
Statement to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights given by Henry S. Allen, Jr. Esq. on Consolidation in the Pennsylvania Health Insurance Industry: The Right Prescription? July 31, 2008