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Feds Flex Regulatory Muscle On Health Care Mergers, Professional Board Authority
posted: June 1, 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.