The law was broken when the group of anesthesiologists banded together to drive out any form of competition, which resulted in the failure of Mr… Alto’s business. Initially the organization of anesthesiologist from SST. Peters Community Hospital agreed to a settlement of $462,500. The trial Judge deemed the award from the Jury was excessive and ordered a new trial. The conclusions of the new trial were, the damages incurred were not the hospital’s responsibility due to lack of evidence and the settlement from the physicians was sufficient (Bazaar 2012).
Exclusive Contracts Hospitals routinely enter Into contracts with various professional groups for the sight to be the exclusive provider of their specific services at the facility In exchange for the group agreeing to provide and manage all aspects of that service wealth the hospital. These “exclusive contracts” generally result In the chosen medical department and associated equipment being closed off to physicians who are not part of the contracting group. Exclusive contracts are generally considered to be good for most doctors who participate in the groups and bad for those excluded by them.
In fact, while exclusive contracts offer obvious benefits to the physicians who receive he perks from the contracts and obvious disadvantages for those who are excluded, they also present pitfalls for physicians in the chosen group. The included doctors are somewhat slaves to the groups and will be kicked out of the groups if the physician does not comply with the rules and regulations of the contract. Exclusive contracts are agreements that initially appear to be anta-competitive on face value; multiple courts have rejected anti-trust challenges to exclusive contracts creating an unfair advantage, which reduces competition.
Physicians and nurses that have been excluded because of exclusive contracts have had much greater success in attacking exclusive contracting arrangements on the premise of breach of contract and lack of procedural process grounds. In order to prove there has been a violation of anti-trust and elimination of competition within a work environment such as a hospital. Typically exclusive contracts are built to keep outside providers from competing with the physicians who are already employed at the hospital or medical treatment facility. In rare cases like the Alto v.
SST Pewter’s Community Hospital case, the nurse anesthetist was already contracted with the facility and performed similar procedures as the anesthesiologists except for a cheaper rate (Bazaar 2012). The hospital administration should have analyzed the formation of the group odd providers and recognized what the Intentions were. Remedies to Breach Arbitration of breaches In anta-trust laws were frowned upon years ago when anta- trust laws were first set into place. Arbitration is a relatively fast way to arrive upon a being flexible and not as formal as a traditional courthouse.
Usually, arbitration can be scheduled quicker and with less working parts than a trial. In rare instances, if all parties involved come to an agreement, arbitrators can sometimes create rulings that judges are not allowed to decide. In arbitration, both sides present all evidence to an arbitrator in efforts to prove each side’s case. The arbitrator reaches a final verdict and decides whom the winners and losers are. An arbitrator does the Job that a traditional Judge or Jury would normally do in court if the matter escalated to that point (Hill 2014).
Summary Judgment is another remedy to handling the decision process in the event of a suspected anti-trust law breach. Summary Judgment is a decision entered by a court on behalf of one party that was in disagreement with another party, without the length and expense of a full trial. The idea of the summary judgment process is to remove the need to argue agreed upon facts and to decide without trial one or more causes of action in the complaint. The presenting and pleading procedures are extremely technical and complicated. This process is fairly dangerous to the party that the decision is being made against (Hill 2014).
Conclusion In this scenario, the groups of anesthesiologists were guilty of violating anti-trust saws with the internal contract that was created to eliminate competition from outside vendors for delivery of care. Anti-trust laws were created top prevent larger companies and organizations from pushing smaller entities out of the ability to fairy compete for business. Mr… Alto received a settlement from the hospital initially but was later unable to recoup legal fees and damages from the hospital once the trial judge ruled the damages were excessive.
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