Federal antitrust enforcement authorities have historically not gotten too excited about hospitals acquiring physician practices.  However, it is apparent from recent enforcement activity that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is keeping a wary eye on physician/hospital integration. According to the American Medical News, the FTC recently ordered a Nevada health system to allow a number of its "acquired" cardiologists out of their employment agreement restrictive covenants. According to the order, the FTC found that the health system’s acquisition of two large cardiology groups had the effect of reducing competition in the health system’s market. For more on the order, see "FTC Order Could Give Physicians a Way Out of Noncompete Deals With Hospitals" in Amednews.com