The Convenient Care Association (CCA) complies with all state and federal antitrust laws, prohibiting any activities which may impede competitors or affect prices or fees, including strict avoidance of any activities that may have the appearance of impropriety. This responsibility, to avoid any activities or discussion which may directly or indirectly, specifically or circumstantially, implicate the CCA as violating any state or federal antitrust law, belongs to all directors, officers, employees, and members of the CCA, and is equally in force on- and off-site.
The potential for violations is especially high during meetings, both in-person and virtual, and the CCA urges its members and associates to be wary of engaging in any discussion with competitors regarding:
- Pricing (e.g., discussions of the prices you pay and the prices you charge for goods and services, including labor);
- Market share and allocation (e.g., discussions of assigning or restricting territories);
- Quality ratings of suppliers (e.g., which may cause a competitor not to purchase or otherwise do business with that supplier);
- Boycott of a product or third party (e.g., collective refusal to deal with a third party, which constitutes restraint of trade, or to utilize a product); and
- Participation as a group in any plan or program (e.g., a reimbursement plan).
The CCA further advises that the above list is not exhaustive. Failure to eliminate any such discussion from any meeting among competitors can give rise to the impression of antitrust violation, and can result in enforcement proceedings being initiated by the government or by private parties against the CCA as a whole entity or against individuals. It is imperative that CCA directors, officers, staff, and members work conscientiously to avoid any discussion that may have unintended implications. Awareness and proactive avoidance of any antitrust improprieties are vital, because penalties for violations are severe. Collusion among competitors, or even the appearance of collusion, is a punishable offense, where penalties can include monetary fines as well as imprisonment.
The CCA urges employees, members, or associates who find themselves in a conversation in which the discussion content may become suspect and may be construed as violating antitrust laws to approach the meeting chairperson or meeting attendees and request that the discussion topic be changed. CCA members or associates are also encouraged to consult with legal counsel about any concerns about a potential antitrust violation.