Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

FTC Says Carlsbad Doctors Fixed Prices.(Final)

Byline: Winthrop Quigley Journal Staff Writer

Carlsbad physicians have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they fixed prices, illegally driving health care costs higher in the area.

Under the agreement announced Friday, Carlsbad Physician Association Inc. will disband.

"CPA served no function other than to jointly fix prices on behalf of its members during the health plan contracting process," said Joe Simons, director of the FTC Bureau of Competition.

According to the FTC, prices for physician services in New Mexico range from 120 to 150 percent of Medicare payment levels. In Carlsbad, health plans paid from 160 to 200 percent of Medicare levels. …

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