The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the withdrawal of two antitrust policy statements the agency deemed “outdated.”
The decision targets guidance on antitrust enforcement in healthcare published in August 1996 and on accountable care organizations published in October 2011. The move puts the FTC in line with the Department of Justice, which similarly withdrew its guidance on each matter earlier this year in an effort to strengthen transparency and antitrust enforcement of healthcare groups.
“Given the profound changes in these markets over the last 30 years, the statements no longer serve their intended purpose of providing accurate guidance to market participants,” said the FTC in a press release Friday. “Rather, the commission’s extensive record of enforcement actions, policy statements, and competition advocacy in healthcare provide more up-to-date guidance to the public.
“The commission will continue its enforcement by evaluating on a case-by-case basis mergers and conduct in healthcare markets that affect consumers.”
The 1996 guidance addressed physician network joint ventures and multiprovider networks, while the 2011 guidance detailed how U.S. antitrust laws would be enforced regarding accountable care organizations operating in the commercial market and in Medicare.
The FTC voted 3-0 to rescind the statements.