The health care industry has been a particular focus of antitrust concern in recent years, including recent policy initiatives, private equity warnings, and enforcement actions from both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The new Task Force on Health Care Monopolies and Collusion (HCMC), announced this month by the DOJ, is the latest example of antitrust scrutiny on the industry.Continue Reading New DOJ Health Care Task Force Portends Continued Aggressive Antitrust Enforcement

This week in New York, many leading health systems came together for the long-running Not-For-Profit Health Care Investors Conference, now sponsored by Barclays, HFMA and the American Hospital Association. The conference allowed investors and industry observers to take the pulse of the nation’s non-profit health systems and to note some interesting trends.Continue Reading Notes from the Barclays 24th Annual Not-for-Profit Health Care Investors Conference 

On April 29, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) rescinding the 2018 Association Health Plan rule (“2018 AHP Rule”), thereby marking a return to the more rigid pre-2018 regulatory framework governing association health plans. The 2018 AHP Rule, officially titled “Definition of Employer Under Section 3(5) of ERISA – Association Health Plans,” allowed these plans to bypass certain requirements under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The Final Rule will take effect on July 1, 2024.Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor Rescinds Trump-Era Rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs)

As we previewed last year regarding SB 184 and the establishment of the California Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA), California now has taken a significant regulatory step aimed at restraining growth in health care costs. On April 24, 2024, OHCA’s board (the “Board”) voted to implement its long anticipated statewide health care cost target, beginning with a 3.5% cap on spending growth in 2025 and decreasing in the following years. As with OHCA’s cost and market impact review (CMIR) reporting regime,[1] this cap will apply to “health care entities,” which include providers such as hospitals, facilities, outpatient clinics, large physician groups and clinical laboratories, payors and fully integrated delivery systems.Continue Reading California is Capping Health Care Cost Increases – Starting at 3.5% in 2025

On April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued its Final Rule banning employers from imposing post-employment noncompete requirements on their workers (the “Final Rule”). The FTC has indicated that it will continue to prioritize enforcement in the healthcare industry, with objectives seeming to include alleviating physician shortages and improving access to healthcare. What the Final Rule means for healthcare organizations generally, and for nonprofits in particular, is not entirely clear and is likely to be challenged. Continue Reading What the FTC’s Noncompete Ban Means for Healthcare

Emerging technologies are prompting a revolution in women’s healthcare through advanced diagnostic testing. In the sixth episode of Sheppard Mullin’s Health-e Law Podcast, Deirdre O’Neill, Chief Commercial & Legal Officer at Hertility Health, shed light on trends in women’s healthcare and technology with Sheppard Mullin’s Digital Health Team co-chairs, Sara Shanti and Phil Kim.Continue Reading FemTech Meets DiagnosTech: A Discussion with Deirdre O’Neill

Effective October 20, 2024, New York hospitals must have in place State-mandated changes to their financial assistance (“FA”) programs (including FA eligibility criteria and debt collection practices) and their practices related to consent forms, and patient use of credit cards and medical financial products. The new requirements were enacted as part of the State’s health and mental hygiene budget legislation for fiscal year 2024 through 2025, signed into law by Governor Hochul on April 20, 2024. The legislation expands financial assistance eligibility to a wider range of patients and implements greater patient protections related to medical debt collection practices.Continue Reading New York Broadly Revises Hospital Financial Assistance, Medical Debt Collection and Related Requirements

Our clients report that addressing and preventing burnout for their physicians and other caregivers continues to be a critical priority in the aftermath of the pandemic. Healthcare organizations need high functioning, engaged clinicians to provide outstanding care and meet goals for quality patient outcomes. However, many grapple with how to create and maintain a robust organizational culture where physicians feel psychologically safe and well resourced, and in which they report lower rates of burnout. In light of ongoing physician shortages, particularly in primary care and high-demand specialties like radiology, effectively recruiting and retaining physicians is critical to delivering care, maintaining contractual staffing commitments, providing for more consistent revenue, and reducing associated costs. We hear often that physicians feel they are being asked to do more with less and adapt to a rapidly changing environment in terms of clinical care, medical record documentation, patient communication, mid-level supervision, and technological advancements. In response, many of our clients are actively exploring how to support providers, create and sustain a cohesive organizational culture, and reduce burnout rates. In this article, we discuss one piece of that larger puzzle – the importance of promoting psychological safety for physicians through both internal programming and participation in external opportunities.Continue Reading Solving for Physician Burnout: Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety

In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital health, gamification has emerged as a powerful tool to enhance patient engagement and improve health outcomes. In the fifth episode of Sheppard Mullin’s Health-e Law Podcast, Craig Lund, co-founder and CEO of Mightier, shed light on this innovative technology with Sheppard Mullin’s Digital Health Team co-chairs, Sara Shanti and Phil Kim.Continue Reading Gamification – Playing for Health: A Discussion with Craig Lund

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted its annual PrivacyCon event, featuring an array of experts discussing the latest in privacy and data security research. This post, covering healthcare privacy issues, is the first in a two-part series on PrivacyCon’s key takeaways for healthcare organizations. The second post will cover topics on artificial intelligence in healthcare.Continue Reading Healthcare Highlights from FTC’s 2024 PrivacyCon