American Academy of Emergency Medicine

Texas Releases Rules for Doctors Bargaining Jointly with Health Plans

Texas Attorney General John Cornyn has released the final rules for SB-1468, establishing procedures that permit physicians to negotiate jointly with health plans with immunity from antitrust laws. Joint negotiations with health plans by independent doctors is typically prohibited by federal antitrust law because it could reduce market competition. The Texas legislature passed S.B. 1468 last session, allowing competing physicians to meet together, discuss, and negotiate certain issues with health plans if they first obtain certain approvals from the attorney general's office. Officials estimate that 112 groups will apply each year for approval, with most requesting permission to negotiate fees. The final rules will be published by the Texas Register on June 2 and become effective on June 6. They are available on the attorney general's web site at www.oag.state.tx.us.

Source: AHA News Now, May 22, 2000