In This Issue:
- FTC COMMISSIONER CRITICIZES PROPOSED LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PERMIT HEALTH PROVIDERS TO NEGOTIATE JOINTLY WITH HEALTH INSURERS:
In a February 26 speech before the Connecticut Bar Association, Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Olhausen expressed strong opposition to proposed legislation that would create an antitrust exemption for collective negotiations with health insurers by otherwise competing health care providers. Describing such proposals, which have been introduced at both the federal and state levels, as “particularly troublesome,” Commissioner Olhausen noted that the FTC has “long advocated against such exemptions for the simple reason that they tend to raise prices and harm consumers.”
- PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURERS HIT WITH ANTITRUST SUIT BY AUTO BODY SHOPS:
On February 24, a group of Florida auto body shops filed an antitrust action against over forty property & casualty insurers in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida...
- BLUE CROSS OF RHODE ISLAND IS UNSUCCESSFUL IN BOUNCING HOSPITAL SYSTEM’S ANTITRUST CLAIM:
In June of 2013, Steward Health System, a Massachusetts-based provider, commenced an antitrust lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island in the federal district court in Rhode Island. Steward contended that, for anticompetitive reasons, BCBS-RI derailed Steward’s proposed acquisition of Landmark Medical Center, a Rhode Island hospital that was in financial distress and looking to be acquired.
- PENNSYLVANIA BLUES ANNOUNCE PROPOSED MERGER:
On February 19, two Pennsylvania Blues – Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania and western-Pennsylvania based Highmark – announced plans to merge. Under an agreement submitted to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for approval, Highmark, which currently serves approximately 4.5 million Pennsylvania residents, would add over 500,000 new Blue Cross of NEPA members to its insured ranks. The transaction would reduce the number of Blues in Pennsylvania from four to three, which is still a larger number than in other states (only five states have more than one Blue entity in their state)...
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