On May 12, 1995 the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice approved a proposal which would allow a subsidiary of Beverly Enterprises Inc., the nation’s largest operator of nursing homes, to provide a nationwide database on services offered by nursing homes and other long-term health care facilities. In a business review letter to the subsidiary, Assistant Attorney General Anne Bingaman said that the proposal appears to meet a consumer need, and should promote competition by facilitating informed consumer choice.
The subsidiary, AdviNet, Inc., will develop a nationwide service database and contract with employers, insurers, associations and individuals to make such information available for specific geographic areas to employees, group members or individuals who call a toll-free telephone number. The database will include publicly available information on all licensed facilities, but more detailed information will be available from operators who become participating providers in the network. Participation will be open to any provider that meets objective health, safety and quality standards. Participating providers will be encouraged, but not required, to offer a discount to AdviNet customers. The amount of any discount will be for the provider to determine.
In addition to providing information on long-term care facilities in a geographic area, AdviNet will assist in scheduling site visits by customers. It will provide suggestions on what to ask and look for during those visits. The list provided to a customer will not be limited to participating providers, and AdviNet will not recommend any specific facility to the consumer.
AdviNet will operate independently of Beverly, in a separate office building, with a separate computer system. AdviNet’s employees’ compensation will not depend in any way upon selection of Beverly facilities by AdviNet customers. Specific pricing information received by AdviNet from any provider will not be made available to any other provider.