(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that the citizens of this state receive high-quality health care coverage in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.
(b) In furtherance of this intent, the Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to enhance the ability of California purchasers, providers, and payers to form efficient-sized bargaining units for the purpose of contracting for the delivery of health care services.
(c) This Legislature has previously demonstrated its intent in this area by the recent enactment of Chapters 328, 329, and 1594 of the Statutes of 1982 authorizing various types of contracts to be entered into between public or private purchasers or payers of health care coverage, and institutional or professional providers of health care services.
(d) The Legislature further finds and declares that individual providers or purchasers, whether institutional, professional, or otherwise, have not proven to be efficient-sized bargaining units for these contracts, and that the formation of groups and combinations of institutional and professional providers and purchasing groups for the purpose of creating efficient-sized contracting units represents a meaningful addition to the health care marketplace.
(e) The Legislature, however, recognizes that the 1982 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Arizona v. Maricopa Medical Society serves as a disincentive to the development of contracting for health care services because purchasers, providers, and payers who enter into contracts bear the risk of being found guilty of committing per se antitrust violations.
(f) The Legislature further finds and declares that the public interest in ensuring that citizens of this state receive high-quality health care coverage in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible is furthered by permitting negotiations for alternative rate contracts between purchasers or payers of health care services, and institutional and professional providers, or through a person or entity acting for, or on behalf of, a purchaser, payer, or provider.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature, therefore, that the formation of groups and combinations of providers and purchasing groups for the purpose of creating efficient-sized contracting units be recognized as the creation of a new product within the health care marketplace, and be subject, therefore, only to those antitrust prohibitions applicable to the conduct of other presumptively legitimate enterprises.
These provisions are in addition to those provided for under Section 1342.6 of the Health and Safety Code and Section 10133.6 of the Insurance Code.
(h) This section does not change existing antitrust law as it relates to any agreement or arrangement to exclude from any of the above-described groups or combinations, any person who is lawfully qualified to perform the services to be performed by the members of the group or combination, where the ground for the exclusion is failure to possess the same license or certification as is possessed by the members of the group or combination.
(Amended by Stats. 1987, Ch. 56, Sec. 12.)