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Mar 4, 2019

Curt and Katie talk about antitrust laws – how they impact therapists, how to avoid concerns, and what to pay attention to when you’re a therapist.    

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Sherman Antitrust Law
  • Why antitrust laws are important
  • Looking at insurance companies and the discrepancy that therapists are more held to antitrust than insurance companies for complicated reasons
  • Therapy practices are businesses and in competition with each other
  • Price Fixing and Market Share agreements
  • The problem and risk with group boycotts
  • The difference between colluding and discussing publicly available information
  • How competition discussing fees in small Facebook groups can lead to price fixing
  • The Cardigan Cartel
  • How to communicate fees and discuss insurance issues without getting into antitrust issues
  • Individuals on insurance panels are still competitors
  • How Antitrust can be anti-consumer
  • What the risks are for discussing pros and cons of different insurance panels
  • How to avoid anti-trust problems
  • Why you should talk to an attorney if you’re concerned
  • How interstate commerce relates to antitrust and how Insurance Plans can play a game to get out of all of this
  • The differences between employees who can strike and separate businesses banding together
  • How Single-Payer relates to this topic
  • How associations play into this and why they can survey their members on fees and other aspects of their businesses
  • The difference between being responsible as a business owner and following the trends
  • Sharing information, without making decisions and planning together
  • How often therapists or other healthcare providers get in trouble for antitrust concerns, as well as related licenses
  • Publicly available information is safe to discuss
  • Share information, but don’t put a call to action to do something with your colleagues



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Relevant Episodes:

In-Person Networking

Modern Therapists Strike Back

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links.

Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890

CAMFT Article: Avoiding Antitrust Problems

McCarren Ferguson Act

Therapist Staffing Company and Two Owners Settle Charges that They Colluded on Rates Paid to Physical Therapists in Dallas/Fort Worth Area

How Does Antitrust Apply to Psychologists? From APA

CPH Insurance Antitrust Information

Spotlight on Trade Organizations

Association-Sponsored Market Research Program: Common pitfalls, antitrust risks, and opportunities

What the Antitrust Exemption for Health Insurers Means

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists


Therapists in Private Practice

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapists Group

Therapy Reimagined 2019: Sign up here to get notified when the details are released.



Our consultation services:

The Fifty-Minute Hour


Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is a Board Member at Large for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Adjunct Faculty at Pepperdine University, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making "dad jokes" and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant. As a helping professional for two decades, she’s navigated the ups and downs of our unique line of work. She’s run her own solo therapy practice, designed innovative clinical programs, built and managed large, thriving teams of service providers, and consulted hundreds of helping professionals on how to build meaningful AND sustainable practices. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt's youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.


Stay in Touch:

Our Facebook Group – The Modern Therapist’s Group



Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano