U.S. Anesthesia Partners Refutes Federal Trade Commission's Misguided Allegations
Physician-owned group will contest overreaching and misinformed FTC civil compliant
FTC's intended outcome threatens to disrupt and restrict patients' equitable access to quality healthcare
Dallas, TX, September 21, 2023 — U.S. Anesthesia Partners ("USAP"), a leading provider of high-quality anesthesia care, refutes the civil enforcement action filed today by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"). USAP will vigorously defend itself against the FTC's misguided allegations.
Dr. Derek Schoppa, a practicing USAP Physician in Texas and a USAP Board member, said, "The FTC's intended outcome threatens to disrupt and restrict patients' equitable access to quality anesthesia care in Texas and will negatively impact the Texas hospitals and health systems that provide care in underserved communities. The FTC's civil complaint is based on flawed legal theories and a lack of medical understanding about anesthesia, our patient-oriented business model, and our level of care for patients in Texas."
Dr. J. Scott Holliday, another USAP physician in Texas and a USAP Board member, added, "We are a team of frontline clinicians who provide outstanding anesthesia care to over 2 million patients across the country each year. Over the last decade, our collaborative partnerships with facilities and health systems have led to improved outcomes with positive impacts on the overall costs of care to the hospital systems, health plans, and patients we serve. We are confident we will prevail in this misguided litigation."
The FTC's civil complaint alleges that certain USAP business practices, which enable the delivery of consistent, high-quality anesthesia services to a diverse set of patients and facilities, violate U.S. competition laws.
Texas is an extremely competitive environment in healthcare, generally, and in anesthesia, in particular. USAP competes with both large and small anesthesia groups and individual anesthesiologists across the state. All USAP practices are clinically independent and locally governed by physician owners who have control of all clinical decisions. In USAP's unique model, these specialist clinicians are able to focus on patients while supported by a robust technical and business infrastructure that enhances rather than detracts from patient care.
The FTC alleges that USAP's acquisitions in Texas gave USAP outsized market power, which impacted prices to health plans. In actuality, no anesthesia practice has "power" over health plans — many of which dwarf USAP and any physician group in size, revenue, and profits. In Texas, USAP's commercial prices — which are negotiated with and agreed to by each health plan — have increased modestly over the years and, which adjusted for inflation, have remained essentially flat.
The reimbursements USAP receives for care are consistent with industry practice and are reasonable and necessary to support a viable medical practice and rising labor costs. USAP's average annual net rate increases from major health plans are modest and in line with national benchmarks. In addition, USAP's quality programs, clinical protocols and data-driven approaches support improved outcomes, which ultimately bring significant value to the healthcare delivery system and help to reduce the total cost of care to health plans. USAP has an in-network strategy and repeatedly has successfully negotiated long-term renewals with our health plans in Texas and across the country.
Dr. Holliday concluded, "The FTC's actions are especially concerning given this moment in time which the healthcare infrastructure in the United States is facing multiple headwinds such as provider shortages, clinical burnout and turnover, and health disparities. While we fight the FTC's overreach and misguided allegations, we will remain true to our mission of providing high-quality care in the communities we proudly serve."
More information can be found at www.usap.com/news/ftc-information
About U.S. Anesthesia Partners
USAP is the leading single-specialty anesthesia practice, dedicated to providing high-quality anesthesia services to over 2 million patients across the national annually. With over 4,500 clinicians and expertise in many anesthesia subspecialties, including pediatric, cardiac and OB anesthesia. USAP sets the standard for high-quality patient care. Its data-driven quality metrics enable continuous innovation and improvements that are shared across USAP via a robust Clinical Quality Committee and quality framework. This helps facilitate the delivery of consistent, high-quality services for patients, surgeons, facilities, and health plans. The company's clinicians serve healthcare communities in Texas, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, Kansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Maryland and the District of Columbia. To learn more about USAP, visit: www.usap.com