Antitrust & Trade Regulation Consumer Protection Health

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FTC Announces New Guidance on Ransomware

On November 10, 2016, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released new guidance for businesses and consumers on the impact of, and how to respond to ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malicious software that infiltrates...more

Health Update - November 2016

Post-Election Analysis: Healthcare Antitrust in a Trump Administration - In a Republican sweep of all the elected branches of the federal government, Donald Trump won the presidential election and Republicans retained...more

Appeals Court Decisions Strengthen FTC's Hand in Hospital Merger Challenges

The fall of 2016 has proved to be a difficult time for hospitals seeking to complete mergers in the face of antitrust challenges brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). After failing initially to persuade federal...more

FTC Issues Long-Awaited Enforcement Policy on OTC Homeopathic Drugs

We reported a few weeks ago about a new warning from FDA related to the safety of certain teething-related, non-prescription homeopathic drug products, and in that post we mentioned that both FDA and the Federal Trade...more

FTC's Winning Streak Restored: Seventh Circuit Reverses Denial of Preliminary Injunction in Chicago Hospital Merger, Competition...

Recent appellate decisions confirm the uphill battle hospitals face when merging with other hospitals. On October 31, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned the district court’s ruling in Federal Trade...more

Confusing Joint Guidance published by OCR and FTC on HIPAA Authorization Forms

There are arguments that there is a dearth of guidance by both the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so when guidance comes out, we listen. But the most recent guidance jointly issued by the...more

FTC Scores Another Victory in FTC v. Advocate Health Care Network

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) won another decisive victory in its effort to fight health care provider consolidation when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court’s decision denying the...more

DOJ/FTC Joint Guidance for Human Resources Professionals Suggests Broad Antitrust Risks

Provisions restricting the hiring of another company’s employees are often included in vendor agreements and a variety of corporate transactions and licenses. And it’s not unusual to see similar constraints adopted in...more

Sharing Consumer Health Information? Look to HIPAA and the FTC Act

Does your business collect and share consumer health information? Check out these tips from the FTC for complying with HIPAA and the FTC Act....more

Hospitals Considering Merger Face Increased Uncertainty

PinnacleHealth System and Penn State Hershey Medical Center have abandoned their merger plans following a Third Circuit defeat last month. The announcement underscores the uncertainty faced by hospitals considering...more

Third Circuit Delivers Resounding Victory for FTC in Pennsylvania Hospital Merger Case

On September 27, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a significant antitrust victory by granting its request for a preliminary injunction to stay the pending merger...more

DOJ-AmEx Case Could Have Ramifications for Health Care Providers

The U.S. Department of Justice's loss to American Express sends a message to health care providers: Steering, tiering, exclusive dealing and other contractual arrangements that appear to suppress competition in one part of...more

Federal Trade Commission's Pennsylvania Hospital Challenge Moves Forward: Third Circuit Halts Transaction Pending Trial Outcome

A Federal Appeals Court has sided with the FTC and preliminarily blocked the proposed merger of the largest hospitals in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area, and Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System. The...more

FTC Bureau Director Highlights Continuing Health-Related Enforcement, Homeopathic Guidance, and ROSCA at NAD Conference

Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, highlighted the agency’s enforcement priorities at the National Advertising Division’s annual conference earlier this week. Key mentions included the...more

FTC Wins Key Appellate Victory in FTC v. Penn State Hershey Medical Center

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) won a decisive victory today in its efforts to slow the record pace of health care provider consolidation, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed a District Court's...more

Can Antitrust Prevent Excessive Drug Price Increases?

The antitrust agencies are often asked to intervene in markets where pricing appears to be excessive to help protect consumers and stabilize markets. In the drug arena, healthcare providers, consumers and politicians have...more

Health Update - September 2016

The Election’s Impact on Healthcare: Preparing for Potential Scenarios - Editor’s Note: Election 2016 will have a major impact on federal and state healthcare policy. To be prepared for all the possibilities, it’s...more

LabMD Seeks To Stay FTC Decision Related To Evidence Of Consumer Harm Pending Appeal

LabMD—a medical testing lab that, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) alleged, exposed consumer personal information through a peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file-sharing network—is now seeking a stay pending its appeal of the FTC’s...more

Don’t Ignore Ransomware Vulnerabilities; You Could Be Violating FTC Act

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission convened a ransomware workshop to discuss the rising epidemic of attacks against U.S. businesses and individuals. In a ransomware attack, a malicious actor tricks a user into...more

Sixth Circuit Denies Seal of Approval for Unjustified Filings Under Seal

Litigants and third parties subpoenaed to produce information in litigation who believe that information that they deem confidential will not ever become part of the public record so long as a discovery protective order is in...more

Two New Court Decisions Bookend Antitrust Risks for Integrated Hospitals

A Florida federal court recently denied summary judgment to an integrated hospital system hoping to exit a multicount antitrust and unfair trade lawsuit. Four days later, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary...more

Final Order against Practice Fusion Approved by FTC

On August 16, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the final order resolving its privacy complaints against Practice Fusion. The complaint alleged that Practice Fusion “misled consumers by soliciting reviews for...more

Lessons for Businesses from FTC’s Opinion on LabMD’s Data Security Practices

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued an Opinion and Final Order finding that the data security practices of LabMD, Inc. were unreasonable, and therefore constituted an unfair act or practice in violation of Section 5...more

FTC Holds That Disclosure of Sensitive Medical Information Due to Lax Security Violates the FTC Act

Last week, three commissioners from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held in In the Matter of LabMD, Inc. that a company’s failure to implement reasonable security measures to protect sensitive consumer information on its...more

Mega-Mergers Highlight Risk to Health Care Providers

Consolidation in health insurance markets can injure hospitals and doctors by creating buyer-side market power that can force providers to accept below-market prices, limit patients’ access to care, and reduce innovation in...more

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