Category Archives: Antitrust

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District Court Weighs in on Level of Integration Required to Shield Health Care Collaborations from Section 1 Scrutiny

In Medical Center at Elizabeth Place v. Premier Health Partners et. al, Case No. 12-cv-26 (S.D. Oh. Oct. 20, 2014), the Southern District of Ohio held that previously-competing health care systems who join together in a revenue-sharing arrangement are incapable of conspiring with each other under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  This is the … Continue Reading

Exploring the Relationship Between Price and Competition Among Physician Practices

The latest from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is a thematic issue organized around a prominent topic in healthcare: price, cost, and competition. Contributing to the debate is an article titled, “Physician Practice Competition and Prices Paid by Private Insurers for Office Visits.”[1] The study is of particular interest because, as the … Continue Reading

Large General Acute-Care Hospital Abandons Acquisition Of 15-Bed Surgical Specialty Center As A Result Of FTC Challenge

By David R. Garcia and Helen C. Eckert  Just three days after the Federal Trade Commission, jointly with the Pennsylvania Attorney General, issued an administrative complaint challenging Reading Health System’s (RHS) proposed acquisition of Surgical Institute of Reading L.P. (SIR), a 15-bed surgical specialty center, both entities abandoned the proposed acquisition, citing the high costs associated with a … Continue Reading

First Section 2 Monopolization Case Of the Obama Administration Targets Dominant Texas Health Care Provider

By David Garcia and Helen Eckert In the first challenge against anticompetitive unilateral conduct since 1999, the Department of Justice reached a proposed settlement with a Texas hospital to enjoin it from entering into exclusionary contracts that effectively prevented commercial health insurers from also contracting with the hospital’s rivals.   … Continue Reading

Antitrust Enforcers to Help Doctors and Hospitals with Transition under New Health Care Law, but Does Congress Want More?

By Jennifer M. Driscoll-Chippendale On December 1, 2010, representatives from both the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (the “Division”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) testified about the issue of antitrust enforcement in the health care industry before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy. Sharis A. Pozen, Chief of Staff for … Continue Reading

Healthcare Sector Comes Under Increased Government Antitrust Scrutiny

By Neil Ray In May 2010, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division, Christine Varney, referred to the essential role that antitrust has in preserving and protecting competition which together with regulation can be harnessed to expand coverage, improve quality and control the cost of health care.     … Continue Reading

Federal Courts and Enforcers Diagnose Physician Practice Associations with Risk of Conspiracy Liability: Degree of Integration is Crucial to Challenges to Medical Network Price Agreements

By Heather M. Cooper I. Introduction Thanks to a recent federal district court decision, physicians and medical staff have more reason to think twice about price and other arrangements adopted by the practice associations and clinics to which they belong. Last Spring, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California held that … Continue Reading

The Latest Advance in the Debate Over Reverse Payment Settlements: Will the Supreme Court Punt, Again?

By Helen Cho Eckert On April 24, 2009, a group of professors of law, economics and business, together with the American Antitrust Institute, the Public Patent Foundation, and AARP (collectively "amici") filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari and reverse the decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in In … Continue Reading

Antitrust Division Will Not Challenge Health Care Cost Information Exchange Program in California

By Jennifer M. Driscoll-Chippendale In a Business Review Letter dated April 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (hereinafter, “the Division”) stated that it would not challenge a data sharing program proposed by three health care associations located in California. From the Division’s vantage point, the program posed little risk of facilitating anticompetitive … Continue Reading

DOJ Antitrust Chief Promises Careful Monitoring of Health Insurance Market While Encouraging Innovation and Efficiency in Health Care Delivery

By Robert Magielnicki In a May 24, 2010 speech to the Antitrust in Healthcare Conference, Christine A. Varney, the Chief of DOJ’s Antitrust Division, emphasized the importance of antitrust enforcement in preserving vigorous competition in health insurance markets, and of encouraging innovation and efficiency in health care delivery while preserving competitive markets.  … Continue Reading

Antitrust Division Will Not Challenge Cost Information Exchange Program in California

By Jennifer Driscoll-Chippendale In a Business Review Letter[1] dated April 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (hereinafter, “the Division”) stated that it would not challenge a data sharing program proposed by three health care associations located in California. From the Division’s vantage point, the program posed little risk of facilitating anticompetitive conduct; rather, … Continue Reading

A Window into Washington: Report on Hearings for S. 1681 and H.R. 3596, Proposed Legislation to End Health Insurers’ Antitrust Exemption

By Donald Klawiter, Jennifer Driscoll-Chippendale and Malika Levarlet Overview Congress recently conducted hearings on proposed legislation that would repeal the insurance exemption from the federal antitrust laws, the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, as it relates to the health insurance industry.   Witnesses at the hearings articulated different perspectives on the potential repeal. At one end of … Continue Reading
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