In one form or another, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been banging the drum that there is no inconsistency between antitrust enforcement and healthcare. The latest to pick-up the drumbeat is the chair of the FTC herself, Edith Ramirez.

In an article appearing in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) titled “Antitrust Enforcement in Health Care—Controlling Costs, Improving Quality,” Chairwoman Ramirez responds to “critics” that “question whether promoting competition should still be a central aim of the FTC’s agenda when it comes to health care markets.” Specifically, she takes aim at those who “claim that active enforcement of antitrust laws undermines efforts to contain costs through provider collaboration and is therefore at odds with the policy aims of the Affordable Care Act.” (Given NEJM’s stated goal—to “keep[] practicing physicians informed on developments that are important to their patients”—one wonders how many of those critics she is likely to convince.)  Read more»»