Feds flex regulatory muscle on health care mergers, professional board authority

2016-12-06 | , AACU and Urology Times

Based on a partnership with Urology Times, articles from the American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU) provide updates on legislative processes and issues affecting urologists. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Contact the AACU government affairs office at 847-517-1050 or info@aacuweb.org for more information.

June 2016 - State lawmakers also hear from the FTC during the legislative process, before scope-of-practice rules become legally binding. In April 2013, the American Medical Association summarized FTC comments on legislation in five states over a 2-year period. In each case, the FTC unsuccessfully opposed attempts to expand non-physician providers' clinical practice.

When it comes to high-profile hospital system and health insurance mega-mergers, the FTC has been forced into action as a result of industry consolidation precipitated by the Affordable Care Act. The FTC typically challenges a hospital merger when the merged entity will be able to unilaterally raise prices above a competitive level because there will be an insufficient number of competitive alternatives for consumers. Hall Render, a highly regarded health law practice, noted several themes that emerged from three hospital merger challenges issued by the FTC over the course of 6 weeks in late 2015.

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Related:

Will Consecutive FTC Losses Change the Antitrust Landscape for Hospital Mergers? (Hall Render, July 13, 2016)

Supreme Court ruling could hold professional board members liable for antitrust violations (McGuireWoods Consulting LLC; June 4, 2016) 

FTC chair makes clear hospital consolidation hurdles (HealthLeaders Media; May 19, 2016)