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Category Archives: Healthcare

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The Beat Goes On: Antitrust Enforcement and Healthcare*

Posted in 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

Provider Competition Matters—Even for “Reference Pricing”

Posted in Healthcare
Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published to BakerHostetler’s Health Law Update blog. 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 … 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

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger Review
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

Posted in FTC Act, Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger Review
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

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger, Merger Review
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 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 run … Continue Reading

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

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Legislation, Merger Review, Premerger Notification
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 pricing, quality, and access to health care for Connecticut’s consumers and … Continue Reading

Webinar Now Available: Lessons Learned from FTC Investigation and Challenges of Healthcare Provider Transactions

Posted in BakerHostetler, Events, Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger Review
If you missed our webinar “Lessons Learned from FTC Investigation and Challenges of Healthcare Provider Transactions” featuring Former FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour and other antitrust partners from our Washington, D.C. office, you can listen and view the webinar by clicking here… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Patents, Premerger Notification
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 pharmaceutical industry.  Those special rules relate to the transfer of certain … Continue Reading

FTC Victory in Idaho Hospital-Physician Acquisition Case Should be a Wake-Up Call for Future and Past Deals

Posted in Antitrust Litigation, BakerHostetler, Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger
The ink is still drying on the Idaho federal district court’s order requiring St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”) to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”) – a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprising approximately 44 physicians located in Nampa, Idaho.  But hospitals considering future acquisitions of physician groups, and those that the FTC … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler Lawyers to Present Webinar on Lessons Learned from FTC Investigations and Challenges of Healthcare Provider Transactions

Posted in BakerHostetler, Events, Healthcare, Uncategorized
Members of BakerHostetler’s Antitrust and Competition team will present a webinar on February 26, 2014 which takes an in-depth look at FTC investigations and challenges of hospital and physician transactions. The topics will include: Insights from a former FTC Commissioner involved in nearly 30 healthcare enforcement actions while at the Commission Latest statistics on FTC  … Continue Reading

Give It Back! Disgorgement – Another FTC Arrow against Reverse-Payment Settlements that Delay Generic Entry

Posted in Antitrust Litigation, Healthcare, Sherman Act 2
If the uncertainty that the Supreme Court’s Actavis decision injected into the world of reverse-payment settlement litigation wasn’t enough to get your attention, then the FTC’s recent effort to obtain disgorgement from Cephalon in a reverse-payment case should do so. Cephalon is arguing that the federal district court should dismiss the FTC’s near six-year-old complaint … Continue Reading

NY Governor Signs “Unprecedented” Legislation Allowing Public Healthcare Provider “a Blank Check to Engage in a Huge Swath of Anticompetitive Activities with No Oversight” – Will Other States Follow?

Posted in Antitrust Exemptions & Immunities, Healthcare, Legislation
Despite vocal opposition from New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s office, New York Governor Cuomo signed legislation this week authorizing Nassau Health Care Corporation (“NuHealth”) – a public healthcare provider that operates a hospital, skilled nursing facility, and several community health centers in Nassau County, New York – to “engage in arrangements, contracts, information sharing, and … Continue Reading

Could an Idaho Healthcare Merger Impact Other Mergers, Including the American/US Airways Merger?

Posted in Antitrust Litigation, Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger, Merger Review, Sherman Act 7
With the trial over, post-trial briefs due November 1, and closing arguments scheduled for November 7, a lot more is at stake than whether St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”) can keep Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”) – a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprising approximately 44 physicians located in Nampa, Idaho.  St. Luke’s closed its acquisition … Continue Reading

FTC Healthcare Merger Retrospective Again?

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger
Two weeks into the FTC’s and Idaho AG’s antitrust trial challenging hospital system St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”) acquisition of the Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”) – a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprising approximately 44 physicians located in Nampa, Idaho – a lot more is at stake than just whether St. Luke’s eventually will be … Continue Reading

“Highly Unusual” Circumstances End FTC Challenge to Phoebe Putney Acquisition

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger, Merger Review, Uncategorized
After running the table in the Supreme Court with a unanimous decision, which we covered, and then convincing a district court judge in Georgia to halt further consolidation of Phoebe Putney Health System (“Phoebe Putney”) and Palmyra Medical Center (“Palmyra”), the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently agreed to settle its antitrust challenge of Phoebe Putney’s … Continue Reading

FTC Investigations of Pharma and Medical Device Transactions – Am I at Risk?

Posted in Healthcare, Merger, Merger Review, Premerger Notification
A recent article in the Antitrust Law Journal titled “A Survey of Evidence Leading to Second Requests at the FTC,” by Darren S. Tucker, an attorney advisor to a FTC Commissioner who reviewed non-public information on the decisions to investigate proposed transactions for the period August 2008 to August 2012, sheds light on the types … Continue Reading

Will the FTC Investigate My Provider Healthcare Transaction?

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger, Merger Review, Premerger Notification
A recent article in the Antitrust Law Journal, “A Survey of Evidence Leading to Second Requests at the FTC,” by Darren S. Tucker, an attorney advisor to a FTC Commissioner who reviewed non-public information on the decisions to investigate proposed transactions for the period August 2008 to August 2012, sheds light on the types of … Continue Reading

Are Consummated Hospital and Physician Mergers Now in the FTC’s Crosshairs?

Posted in Government Investigations, Healthcare, Merger, Merger Review, Uncategorized
“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”* Speaking at an American Bar Association symposium titled “Retrospective Analysis of Agency Determinations in Merger Transactions,” Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Chairwoman, Edith Ramirez, highlighted the FTC’s successful track record challenging transactions, but also noted “growing concern” that hospital acquisitions of physician groups are having a negative … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules That “Pay for Delay” Generic Drug Patent Settlements Are Not Shielded From Antitrust Liability

Posted in Antitrust Litigation, FTC Act, Healthcare, Patents
The Supreme Court has held that the antitrust laws may forbid patent settlements that delay the market entry of generic drugs in return for large payments from manufacturers of competing branded drugs.  The Court’s ruling rewarded the dogged efforts of the Federal Trade Commission to expose those settlements—which the FTC labels “pay for delay”—to antitrust … Continue Reading

Antitrust Law Encourages Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”) Formation

Posted in Healthcare
Once again, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has rebutted claims by physician groups that state legislation is needed to allow independent physicians to collaborate.  In support of legislation introduced in Connecticut, eight medical organizations representing more than 9,000 Connecticut physicians claimed that “federal antitrust laws prohibit Connecticut physicians from collective discussions about … Continue Reading

NC Dentists Can’t Stop Competition from Other Providers of Teeth-Whitening Services

Posted in Antitrust Litigation, FTC Act, Government Investigations, Healthcare
Court ruling may impact how professionals attempt to limit competition from alternative providers. The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners (“Board”) failed to convince the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that the Board’s successful effort to “expel non-dentist providers from the North Carolina teeth-whitening market” is immune from antitrust attack.  … Continue Reading

NC Governor Signs Law Banning Most Favored Nations Provisions in Health Care Contracts

Posted in Healthcare, Sherman Act 1
Despite opposition and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s claim that it “has not used ‘most favored nation’ clauses in [its] new contracts and in fact [they are] not part of our strategy to use those clauses on contracts executed in the future,” on May 8 North Carolina’s Governor, Pat McCrory, signed into law … Continue Reading

Promoting Healthcare Competition – The FTC’s Recent Comments on State Legislative/Regulatory Efforts Impacting Competition from APRNs

Posted in Healthcare
In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has frequently commented on state efforts to either expand, or restrict competition faced by doctors from advanced practice registered nurses (“APRNs”).  Generally speaking, there are four broad types of APRNs:  (1) certified registered nurse anesthetists (“CRNAs”); (2) certified nurse midwives (“CNMs”); (3) clinical nurse specialists (“CNSs”); and … Continue Reading