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Managed Care Information Center  
1913 Atlantic Ave., Suite F5
Manasquan, NJ  08736
(732) 292-1100
fax: (732) 292-1111


MCIC Press Release

August 5 , 2008


FTC-Compliant Clinical Integration Programs Could Spur Growth of PHOs and IPAs,
Key Executives Believe

MANASQUAN, NJ -- August 5, 2008: While it may not appeal to some physicians, clinical integration of physician organizations may prompt a resurgence of physician hospital organizations (PHOs) and independent practice associations (IPAs) due to favorable opinions from the federal Trade Commission (FTC), experts and those who run such organizations believe.

More than 95 percent of executives responding to a Physician Organization Leadership Survey believe the FTC's favorable opinion on clinical integration will give new impetus to physician organizations. 

The exclusive survey was conducted among executives of such physician organizations as PHOs and IPAs by the Managed Care Information Center (MCIC,) publisher of the Executive Report on Physician Organizations.

“Improved quality of care is the most important reason to pursue clinical integration, avoiding trouble with the FTC is an ancillary benefit,” one executive told the Managed Care Information Center (MCIC).

During the past five years there has been a significant increase in enforcement activity by the FTC in response to complaints alleging that physician networks are engaging in the suppression of price competition and utilizing structures that fail to meet FTC guidelines.

Clinical integration enables physician networks to legally engage in single signature contracting, collective negotiation.  

The FTC has cited key aspects of a program of clinical integration which includes the development and implementation of practice protocols and the ability to oversee and report individual physician performance related to those protocols. 

Clinical integration programs coordinate the sharing of clinical information between the community of physicians and hospitals, labs and imaging facilities through the use of new technology such as EMRs.  

More physician organizations will adopt processes to implement a program of clinical integration because of the FTC’s opinion on clinical integration, believe the majority of survey respondents.

As a physician organization executive said “Physician organizations that are interested in leveling the playing field with the consolidating health benefits plans will pursue clinical integration to allow them to negotiate terms and pricing with large payors.” 

Successful Clinical Integration Initiatives in Physician Organizations: How to Build A FTC Compliant Program,” a 90-minute executive-level briefing on CD-ROM, is available from the MCIC. 

The program features four leading experts on the nuts and bolts of  clinical integration and case study details of how two physician organizations have successfully met the FTC measures. 

For details on the program, visit:
http://www.healthresourcesonline.com/edu/clinicalintegration.htm


Address: The Managed Care Information Center, 1913 Atlantic Ave., Suite F5, Manasquan, NJ 08736; (732) 292-1100, www.themcic.com