Mark Lutes, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, addressed "How might the proposed antitrust guidance affect ACO engagement?" in the Thought Leader's Corner of Accountable Care News.

His response is as follows:

The prospect of federal antitrust review will create a bias toward "Copperwelded" applicants in the MSSP and Pioneer programs. Adding non-Copperwelded participants to an ACO adds a risk of uncertainty and cost to the application process.

Like every other policy, this policy of trying to qualify non-Copperwelded ACOs to operate in the commercial market as a condition of the Medicare shared savings program may have unintended consequences. One of those may be to provide additional impetus to providers to become part of Copperwelded systems.

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