PDFRCW 43.72.300

Managed competitionFindings and intent.

(1) The legislature recognizes that competition among health care providers, facilities, payers, and purchasers will yield the best allocation of health care resources, the lowest prices for health care services, and the highest quality of health care when there exists a large number of buyers and sellers, easily comparable health plans and services, minimal barriers to entry and exit into the health care market, and adequate information for buyers and sellers to base purchasing and production decisions. However, the legislature finds that purchasers of health care services and health care coverage do not have adequate information upon which to base purchasing decisions; that health care facilities and providers of health care services face legal and market disincentives to develop economies of scale or to provide the most cost-efficient and efficacious service; that health insurers, contractors, and health maintenance organizations face market disincentives in providing health care coverage to those Washington residents with the most need for health care coverage; and that potential competitors in the provision of health care coverage bear unequal burdens in entering the market for health care coverage.
(2) The legislature therefore intends to exempt from state anti-trust laws, and to provide immunity from federal anti-trust laws through the state action doctrine for activities approved under this chapter that might otherwise be constrained by such laws and intends to displace competition in the health care market: To contain the aggregate cost of health care services; to promote the development of comprehensive, integrated, and cost-effective health care delivery systems through cooperative activities among health care providers and facilities; to promote comparability of health care coverage; to improve the cost-effectiveness in providing health care coverage relative to health promotion, disease prevention, and the amelioration or cure of illness; to assure universal access to a publicly determined, uniform package of health care benefits; and to create reasonable equity in the distribution of funds, treatment, and medical risk among purchasers of health care coverage, payers of health care services, providers of health care services, health care facilities, and Washington residents. To these ends, any lawful action taken pursuant to chapter 492, Laws of 1993 by any person or entity created or regulated by chapter 492, Laws of 1993 are declared to be taken pursuant to state statute and in furtherance of the public purposes of the state of Washington.
(3) The legislature does not intend and unless explicitly permitted in accordance with RCW 43.72.310 or under rules adopted pursuant to chapter 492, Laws of 1993, does not authorize any person or entity to engage in activities or to conspire to engage in activities that would constitute per se violations of state and federal anti-trust laws including but not limited to conspiracies or agreements:
(a) Among competing health care providers not to grant discounts, not to provide services, or to fix the price of their services;
(b) Among health carriers as to the price or level of reimbursement for health care services;
(c) Among health carriers to boycott a group or class of health care service providers;
(d) Among purchasers of health plan coverage to boycott a particular plan or class of plans;
(e) Among health carriers to divide the market for health care coverage; or
(f) Among health carriers and purchasers to attract or discourage enrollment of any Washington resident or groups of residents in a health plan based upon the perceived or actual risk of loss in including such resident or group of residents in a health plan or purchasing group.
[ 1997 c 274 s 6; 1993 c 492 s 447.]


Effective date1997 c 274: See note following RCW 41.05.021.