The AAFP has long called for antitrust relief for physicians and advocates for legislation that would remove antiquated collective negotiation restrictions.
Federal antitrust laws enforced by the Federal Trade Commission prevent physicians from engaging in collective negotiation with insurers that are exempt from antitrust laws. Many of these statutes, originally intended to protect consumers from anticompetitive behavior, are increasingly ill-suited to today’s rapidly changing health care workforce and marketplace.
The health insurance industry continues to be exempt from antitrust regulation — policy that stifles competition and blocks improvements to the nation’s health care system. The AAFP calls on Congress to investigate the long-term consequences of health insurance market consolidation and supports legislation easing FTC restrictions on primary care physicians’ contract negotiations. Family physicians should be able to work with third-party payers and negotiate contracts on a level playing field.
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