FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition for Certain Physician Services in St. Cloud, MN
Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that CentraCare’s acquisition of St. Cloud Medical Group, also known as SCMG, would be anticompetitive.
According to the complaint, by eliminating SCMG as a potential alternative in the St. Cloud area, the acquisition, if unremedied, likely would have increased CentraCare’s bargaining power vis-à-vis commercial health plans, allowing it to raise reimbursement rates and secure more favorable terms. The acquisition may also have resulted in a loss of quality and service benefits to patients.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement order, CentraCare was required to allow a number of adult primary care, pediatric, and OB/GYN physicians to leave the health system and work for other local providers or establish a new practice in the area, and to provide certain financial incentives to a number of departing physicians
The Commission vote approving the final order was 3-0. (FTC File No. 161 0096; the staff contact is Robert Canterman, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2107)
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