The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has published a notice explaining how it may go about applying antitrust rules to the new Medicare accountable care organizations (ACOs).

The FTC, which has developed the notice together with the antitrust division of the U.S. Justice Department, says it and the Justice Department will apply a "rule of reason" when financial or clinical integration arrangements appear to be good for the overall level of competition, rather than bad.

Arrangements that are acceptable in the Medicare ACO program will also be acceptable in the commercial ACO market, officials say.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, ThinkAdvisor's insurance editor, previously was LifeHealthPro's health insurance editor. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Think_Allison.