Health Antitrust & Trade Regulation Consumer Protection

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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

Cybersecurity News & Notes – July 2016 #3

In Case You Missed It: Court certifies class in suit against Apple. On July 15, 2016, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar certified a class of users of the mobile app Path, who allege that Apple facilitated the app’s access...more

Health Law Pulse - July 2016

On June 14, 2016, a federal district court in the Northern District of Illinois denied a request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the pending merger of Advocate Health Care...more

FTC Battles Hospital Mergers: What to Watch for in this Summer’s High-Profile Appeals

In a town that is no stranger to landmark hospital merger cases, last month a Chicago federal judge denied the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) motion for a preliminary injunction to temporarily block a merger between...more

One-Two Punch on Hospital Challenges: Is the FTC Down for the Count?

There was a time not long ago when the odds of beating the Federal Trade Commission on a hospital merger antitrust challenge were slim. Two recent defeats, however, may change that some. Late last year, the FTC, in quick...more

DOJ and North Carolina Challenge Anti-Steering and Tiering Provisions in Managed Care Contracts

The Department of Justice’s antitrust division (the “DOJ”)and the State of North Carolina (“NC”) jointly sued, on June 9, 2016, Carolinas HealthCare System (“CHS”), the largest healthcare system in North Carolina, over...more

Practice Fusion and FTC Settle Complaint Over Deceptive Statements About the Privacy of Consumer-Generated Online Content

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced (press release) that Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health company in the United States, has agreed to settle FTC charges over deceptive practices...more

FTC Delays Ruling in LabMD Appeal

The Federal Trade Commission has decided to put off until late July a decision about whether to overturn a ruling by the agency’s chief administrative law judge in the closely watched data security action against LabMD, the...more

Advertising Law - June 2016

First Circuit Affirms Ruling Against - In a victory for the Federal Trade Commission, the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Commission ruling that website, a self-described reputation management...more

Health Law Pulse - June 2016

On May 9, 2016, a federal district court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania rejected a request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the pending merger (Merger) between Penn...more

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