Members of Ophthalmologist Group Charged with Illegal Boycott of Health Plan

An ophthalmologist cooperative in Puerto Rico settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) earlier this year that it orchestrated an illegal boycott of a health plan. The FTC alleged that the cooperative urged its members to refuse to sign an agreement with the health plan that would have passed through lower Medicare reimbursements to the ophthalmologists in the network. This settlement serves as an important reminder of the risks of concerted action among competitors, even when facilitated or encouraged by an otherwise lawful trade association or membership organization. Furthermore, this case is another example of so called “hot” documents being used by the federal enforcement agencies to build their case.

A full analysis prepared by Mintz Levin law firm can be found here and additional details about the settlement are available on the FTC’s website.

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