FTC advisory opinion approves Norman PHO’s clinical integration model

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On 13 February 2013, the FTC staff issued a favourable advisory opinion to the Norman [Oklahoma] Physician Hospital Organization (Norman PHO) allowing it to move forward with its clinical integration plan.  The Norman PHO, an affiliation of the Norman Regional Health System and approximately 280 participating physicians, seeks to transition from a messenger model when dealing with payors, to a clinically integrated model that involves, among other things, jointly contracting with payors.

In the opinion, the FTC did not deviate substantially from its past analysis of clinical integration proposals, including TriState Health Partners Inc. (2009), Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association, Inc. (2007), and MedSouth Inc. (2007, 2002). The FTC continued to emphasize the importance of factors such as non-exclusivity, procompetitive efficiencies, and safeguards to prevent possible spillover effects…

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