The Federal Trade Commission has scheduled a one-day public workshop on May 29 to discuss collaborations between healthcare providers to improve the provision of healthcare services and reduce costs. Titled "Clinical Integration in Health Care: A Check-Up," the workshop will feature healthcare providers, government officials, health insurers and other payers, employers, attorneys, and others who will provide insight on various aspects of "clinical integration" among health care providers.

FTC said the workshop is part of its efforts to study developments in healthcare delivery and financing that can inform its antitrust analysis, to ensure that consumers are protected from anticompetitive conduct, and that legitimate efficiency-enhancing joint ventures are not discouraged.

It said that FTC staff has issued several advisory letters detailing its views on various proposals by physician networks to achieve beneficial integration of their respective practices, either through clinical integration or financial integration.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the FTC's satellite building conference center in Washington.

Materials relating to the application of antitrust principles to healthcare markets are posted at www.ftc.gov/bc/healthcare.