A Competition Perspective on Physician Non-Compete Agreements


Physician non-compete agreements may have significant competitive implications, and effects on both providers and patients, but they are treated variously under the law on a state-by-state basis. Reviewing the relevant law and the economic literature cannot identify with confidence the net effects of such agreements on either physicians or health care delivery with any generality. In addition to identifying future research projects to inform policy, it is argued that the antitrust “rule of reason” provides a useful and established framework with which to evaluate such agreements in specific health care markets and, potentially, to address those agreements most likely to do significant damage to health care competition and consumers.