April 1999 Bulletin

Third party messenger

A statement in a Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit against general and vascular surgeons in Tampa, Fla. and a consultant who negotiated with manage care plans (MCP):

"In a legitimate messenger model, the third party messenger acts merely as an efficient conduit for information and communications between MCPs and individual physicians or physician group practices. A legitimate messenger does not coordinate or engage in collective pricing activity for competing independent physicians, enhance their bargaining power, or facilitate the sharing of price and other competitively sensitive information among them."

Source: United States of America vs. Federation of Certified Surgeons and Specialists, Inc., and Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.

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