Justice Department help’s with the Formation of ACOs
Side note: The US Justice Department announces recently that it will be working with medical professionals in the formation of professional organizations. Accountable care organizations, or ACOs, are a main focus of the recently passed health care reform bill. The ACOs will be alliances of doctors and hospitals formed to lower costs and increase buying power. The Justice department and the Federal Trade Commission need to investigate the formation of these organizations to determine whether they violate anti-trust laws. The formations of these ACO’s are one of the steps that, in conjunction with medical malpractice insurance reform, congress hopes will help to lower the cost of health care in the country.
By Jeff Bliss and Alex Wayne
The U.S. Justice Department said it will ease the transition under the new federal health-care law for doctors and hospitals by helping them avoid antitrust violations when they form professional organizations.
The department will provide an “expedited” review of proposed accountable care organizations, or ACOs, under the new law, Sharis Pozen, chief of staff of the department’s antitrust division, told a House judiciary subcommittee in Washington today.
“The department intends to offer whatever guidance and clarity may be needed to ensure that providers pursue beneficial integrated ACOs without running afoul of the antitrust laws,” she said.
Doctors and hospital organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and Premier Inc., a Charlotte, North Carolina-based group purchaser of medical supplies and a consultant for hospitals, have been pressing for quicker reviews.