The uncertain application of competition law in health care markets

Corones, Stephen G. (2005) The uncertain application of competition law in health care markets. Australian Business Law Review, 33(6), pp. 407-428.

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Increasingly, competition and an expanded private sector are seen as having an important role to play in reducing costs and improving efficiency in health care markets. Competition and economic efficiency are two separate concepts for the purposes of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth). This article draws attention to a number of market failures and imperfections in health care markets which are likely to have a bearing on conventional competition analysis. The existence of these market failures such as imperfect information, agency relationships and the role played by government intervention in occupational licensing for health care professionals and the regulation of pricing through the Medicare rebate schedule, may impede competition on the merits. In some cases these market imperfections give rise to inefficiencies that can only be cured by professional intervention to protect consumers. They are, however, a matter of degree. Each case calls for an analysis of the extent to which the particular health care market departs from the neoclassical economist's ideal. This article considers the way in which the courts, the Tribunal and the ACCC have applied conventional competition analysis in recent health care cases and examines the categories of market defects that may justify professional intervention to give effect to improvements that qualify for authorisation.

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ID Code: 18760
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0310-1053
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Thomson Lawbook Co.
Deposited On: 13 Mar 2009 06:13
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:15

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