MACEP Policies: Antitrust Policy
Antitrust Policy & Guidelines
It is the policy of the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians (MACEP) to comply strictly and in all respects with the antitrust laws, state and federal. It is also the policy of MACEP to educate and encourage its members to adhere strictly and in all respects to federal and state antitrust laws.
The antitrust laws are designed to insure that business is conducted in an open, competitive atmosphere and that competition is not unreasonable or unfairly restricted. These laws prohibit any agreement, combination or conspiracy that may result in an unreasonable restraint of trade or an injury to competition. Thus the following types of agreements, whether by MACEP or its members, are deemed to constitute anti-competitive behavior.
- Agreements to fix prices, including agreements on the terms and conditions which affect the price of a product or service;
- Agreements to control or limit the production of a product or service;
- Agreements to engage in a group boycott or a refusal to deal with certain competitors, suppliers, insurers or patients;
- ·Agreements to allocate or divide markets and/or patients.
Prohibited Activities by Members
To avoid possible liability under the antitrust laws, the following broad topics should not be discussed by any member while participating in MACEP’s list serves, activities, or events.
Please note that MACEP also follows the American College of Emergency Physicians Antitrust Policy.
- · Do not discuss, or engage in any form of conduct from which it may be argued that a member discussed, fixing the price or fee of services. Antitrust laws make any agreement, formal or informal, that has a substantial impact upon price illegal per se, regardless of the circumstances or effect of competition. Price fixing in its broadest terms covers any agreement to raise, stabilize, or lower the prices or fees which members charge for their services. Agreements relating to discounts, allowances, credit terms, rebates, future business, or the terms or conditions of sales and services are included within price fixing. Price fixing may occur between competitors or between suppers and customers. It can be either expressed or implied.
- · Do not share information regarding current or future prices or fees for service because such actions can have a substantial impact on price and therefore be deemed price fixing. This prohibition includes the various components of the cost of an appraisal report that might affect or impact current or future prices or fees.
- · Do not discuss boycotting or refusing to deal with certain competitors, suppliers, patients, or groups of suppliers or patients. Any attempt by MACEP members to use the collective power of the association to boycott a competitor, insurer, supplier, or a patient will violate the antitrust laws. Discussion concerning the pros and cons of further dealings with any common competition, insurer, supplier, or a patient must be avoided when members communicate.
- Do not discuss costs, inventories, product capacities, profits, profit margins, market studies or surveys, market shares or other current or future business matters which may affect competition. An anti-competitive agreement does not have to be expressed and can be established by circumstantial evidence such as the subsequent behavior of the participants at the meeting