Tag Archives: FTC

FTC Issues Compliance Guidance for Organizations that Share and Collect PHI

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued Guidance to remind HIPAA compliant organizations that share and collect protected health information (PHI) for commercial activities that they must also comply with FTC Act disclosure requirements. The FTC Act prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. The Guidance cautions that organizations should consider all disclosure … Continue Reading

Practice Fusion Settles With FTC for Deceptive Practices in Posting Consumer-Generated PHI

“I would like to make an appointment for my back pain and possible shingles. Can you please call me @ [phone number]. Thank you! [patient name]” – Patient Review, December 31, 2012 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and cloud-based electronic health record company Practice Fusion, Inc. (Practice Fusion), recently agreed to a proposed settlement to … Continue Reading

Pharmaceutical Life Cycle Management: Navigating the New IP, FDA, and Antitrust Terrain

Efforts to extend the life cycle of pharmaceutical products frequently involve innovations and improvements in product design, formulation, route of administration and treatment indications. In addition, negotiation of agreements with competitors, including generic and biosimilar manufacturers, is frequently employed as part of a life cycle management strategy. However, recent changes in patent, regulatory, and antitrust … Continue Reading

Antitrust: “Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News”*

Court gives Teladoc some good news in its antitrust challenge to Texas Medical Board Rule Back in April 2015, Teladoc, Inc., which provides U.S. board-certified doctors for consults via phone or online video, filed an antitrust challenge to stop a new Texas Medical Board (TMB) rule from taking effect that requires physicians to conduct an … Continue Reading

FTC Brushes Aside AG, Regulators to Attack Local Hospital Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continued its relentless focus on combinations in the healthcare industry last month when it filed an administrative complaint challenging a merger of two West Virginia hospitals, In the Matter of Cabell Huntington Hospital (FTC Docket No. 9366). Given the FTC’s recent successes in thwarting other healthcare mergers it saw as … Continue Reading

HELP! FTC Staff Steps Up to the Plate with Guidance for State Officials on Regulating Occupational Boards

Help, I need somebody Help, not just anybody Help, you know I need someone Help!* Answering the call from state officials seeking advice regarding antitrust compliance for state boards responsible for regulating occupations, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Staff have stepped up to answer two questions: When does a state regulatory board require active supervision in … Continue Reading

Send Lawyers, Guns and Money:* Providers Lining Up Against Anthem/Cigna and Aetna/Humana Mergers

In the wake of Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna and Aetna’s proposed acquisition of Humana, providers are lining up to be heard. Take the American Medical Association (AMA), for example, which is urging federal and state regulators to “take a hard look at [the] proposed health insurer mergers” and enforce the antitrust laws that “prohibit … Continue Reading

“Ring my friend, I said you call Doctor Robert, day or night he’ll be there”*

Texas Medical Board First in the Antitrust Crosshairs After Supreme Court Decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners The first lawsuit, in what may be a wave of antitrust litigation challenging professional board regulations in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal … Continue Reading

State Health Regulatory Bodies Have Teeth Pulled

Old and new regulations established by state professional boards that are composed of “active market participants” such as physicians, dentists and therapists, may be subject to antitrust challenge following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. In most states, the boards of professional regulatory … Continue Reading

“Oh Help Me, Please Doctor, I’m Damaged”*—What Does the Future Hold for Hospital-Physician Acquisitions?

With the ink still drying on the Ninth Circuit’s opinion affirming the Idaho federal district court’s order requiring St. Luke’s Health System to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group—a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprising approximately 44 physicians located in Nampa, Idaho—what does the decision mean for other providers? Hospitals considering future acquisitions of physician … Continue Reading

Say Ah! FTC and DOJ to Host Second Workshop on “Examining Health Care Competition

On February 24-25, 2015, the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice will host their second workshop on “Examining Health Care Competition.” The workshop will take place in Washington, D.C., and will focus on recent developments related to healthcare provider organization and payment models that may affect competition in the provision of healthcare services. Specific … Continue Reading

The Beat Goes On: Antitrust Enforcement and Healthcare*

In one form or another, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been banging the drum that there is no inconsistency between antitrust enforcement and healthcare. The latest to pick-up the drumbeat is the chair of the FTC herself, Edith Ramirez. In an article appearing in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) titled “Antitrust … Continue Reading

Lee Simowitz Discusses Antitrust in the Healthcare Industry

BakerHostetler partner Lee Simowitz spoke as part of the panel, “Negotiating the antitrust minefield,” during Modern Healthcare’s Virtual Conference and Expo, “Building Tomorrow’s Delivery Model: Forging a Path to Value,” on October 15. The Affordable Care Act is driving ever-increasing rates of consolidation in the healthcare industry. But even as hospitals and health systems explore … Continue Reading

Provider Competition Matters—Even for “Reference Pricing”

In a recent blog post, three Federal Trade Commission (FTC) economists splashed some cold water on advocates of “reference pricing” that seem to imply that such pricing “will increase competition between providers.”  In the FTC economists’ view, “reference pricing does not and cannot create provider competition[,] because [it] is simply a tool health insurers and … Continue Reading

Don’t Pop the Cork Just Yet—Growing Criticism of Massachusetts AG’s Settlement with Partners Healthcare Just Might Send the Parties Back to the Drawing Board

After touting a proposed settlement with Partners HealthCare (Partners) that supposedly would “fundamentally alter [Partners’] negotiating power for 10 years and control health costs across [Partners’] entire network,” Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley is now playing defense trying to fend off criticism of the deal that just might send the parties back to the drawing board.  … Continue Reading

Buckle Up—Unwinding Phoebe Putney’s Acquisition of Palmyra Down in Georgia May End Up Being Back on the Table

Almost one year ago, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed to settle its antitrust challenge of Phoebe Putney Health System’s (Phoebe Putney) acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center (Palmyra) without requiring divesture or any other remedial relief. That settlement came after the FTC ran the table in the Supreme Court with a unanimous decision, and convinced a … Continue Reading

Let The Rejoicing Begin, Or Not—Massachusetts AG’s Settlement With Partners Healthcare Is No Harbinger of Things to Come

After almost half a dozen years of investigating Partners HealthCare’s (Partners) contracting practices and its proposed acquisitions of two competing hospital systems, Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley announced a “final resolution” that she says “will fundamentally alter [Partners’] negotiating power for 10 years and control health costs across [Partners’] entire network.” But before you … Continue Reading

What the WTP? The Rise of Merger Simulation in Hospital Transactions

If you are a health system or hospital thinking about a potential transaction and your lawyers haven’t spoken with you about hospital merger simulation, then maybe you should be talking with someone else. What is hospital merger simulation? In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has come to rely more heavily on hospital merger … Continue Reading

Connecticut’s Attorney General Wants to Know in Advance if You Are Going to Join Forces With a Healthcare Provider

Editor’s Note:  This post originally appeared on BakerHostetler’s Antitrust Advocate blog. Back in early 2013, Connecticut’s Attorney General (AG) formed a “Health Care Competition Working Group” within his office to examine the potential impact of horizontal mergers (e.g., hospital to hospital) and vertical provider acquisitions (i.e., hospitals buying up physician practices) “may have on the … Continue Reading

FTC Settles Case With Medical Transcription Company

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it had settled its data privacy case against medical transcription firm GMR Transcription Services, Inc. (GMR) following allegations that GMR had failed to adequately protect the personal information of its consumers.  The consent order signed by the parties is a particularly notable milestone in that it marks … Continue Reading

Pharmaceutical Association Calls Out FTC in Filing Seeking to Enjoin New Rule Targeting the Industry

Editor’s Note:  This post originally appeared on BakerHostetler’s Antitrust Advocate blog. Last November, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the “concurrence” of the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department, and over the strenuous objection of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), issued final changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act premerger notification rules limited solely to … Continue Reading

A Look Back at 2013

In this posting: A Look Back at 2013 Antitrust and Competition Policy, Advocacy and Legislative Strategy Development FDA and Life Sciences Privacy and Data Protection Enforcement and Compliance Transactions and Finance Reimbursement, Licensing and Certification Fraud and Abuse Laws Tax-Exempt Organizations Honors and Recognition Was it the number 13? There’s an old superstition about the … Continue Reading
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