Accountable Care Organizations: Implications for Antitrust Policy

Proposals in both the House and Senate to encourage physician and hospitals to join forces and form a single delivery organization have raised antitrust questions. A new brief from the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services examines the debate around creating accountable care organizations (ACOs) to serve Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Authors Taylor Burke and Sara Rosenbaum examine the role of ACOs in the proposed legislation and conclude that they are in keeping with longstanding antitrust policies. The brief is the second in a series pertaining to antitrust law. The first, Health System Reform and Antitrust Law: The Antitrust Aspects of Health Information Sharing by Public and Private, discussed antitrust considerations that arise in health system transformation aimed at producing greater clinical integration and greater levels of information about the quality and cost of care.