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Breaking: SCOTUS Will Decide ATDS Definition in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid et al.

July 10, 2020 | Blog | By Joshua Briones, Crystal Lopez, Esteban Morales, Matthew Novian

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COVID-19 Relief Programs: Mitigating and Responding To Enforcement Risk

June 22, 2020 | Blog | By Brian Dunphy, Jane Haviland, Nicole Henry, Karen Lovitch

Since the early days of the pandemic, Mintz’s COVID-19 Compliance & Enforcement Defense Task Force has closely monitored and advised clients on the evolving COVID-19 relief programs, including those created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act provided for over $2 trillion in relief funds, which is the largest emergency assistance package in American history. The numerous CARES Act programs have continued to develop through, among other things, the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, and rapidly changing regulatory guidance and FAQs. As one example, the government recently wrestled with whether to make public the list of about 4.6 million entities that received more than $500 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the CARES Act. After initially refusing to disclose PPP loan recipients, the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department decided to make public the names of entities that received loans larger than $150,000, as well as the dollar range of each loan.
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Price Gouging Laws — What Clients Need to Know

April 29, 2020 | Alert | By Jason P.W. Halperin, Jeffrey Moerdler, Scott Rader, Anthony J. Viola, David H. Drew

Read about how price gouging statutes and enforcement, by NY state and city, Mass., and the federal government, may affect businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Department of Justice recently filed suit against Anthem, Inc. (Anthem) alleging that the Medicare Advantage Organization (MAO) violated the False Claims Act when it knowingly failed to delete inaccurate diagnosis codes submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for risk adjustment purposes. As predicated in our 2020 outlook post, we continue to see enforcement activity and ongoing litigation against Medicare Advantage plans. Notably, this trend is referenced in SDNY’s complaint, alleging that the government has “sought to enforce” data accuracy in the risk adjustment system by “actively pursuing legal remedies against [] MAOs that have knowingly submitted inaccurate and untruthful diagnosis data to CMS[.]” The complaint provides four examples of settlements obtained from 2012-2019 against MAOs and healthcare providers who, purportedly like Anthem, submitted inaccurate diagnosis codes to CMS or allegedly failed to delete unsupported diagnosis codes.
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U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Copyrights Must Be Registered before Plaintiffs Can File Infringement Suits

March 5, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller, Andrew D. Skale, Harold Laidlaw

The U.S. Supreme Court held today that bringing a suit for copyright infringement requires that the infringed work actually be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and that a mere application for registration will not suffice.
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Since 2013, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has faced a series of purported class actions consolidated in the U.S. District Court in Alabama.
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Today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made an important ruling concerning innovator liability with respect to pharmaceuticals. Though precluding negligence and traditional product liability claims against brand-name manufacturers, Chief Justice Gants held that claims alleging intentional, reckless conduct are permitted.
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HSR Jurisdictional Thresholds Increased in Annual Adjustment

January 26, 2018 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 26, 2018, increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act). The FTC revises the thresholds annually based on changes in the gross national product.
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Physician Certification Group Wins Dismissal of Antitrust Suit Brought By Physicians

December 20, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Farrah Short

A physician organization has failed to sufficiently plead that a physician certification group caused an unreasonable restraint of trade through its actions to promulgate its certification program.
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While antitrust enforcement of hospital mergers is well-established, physician acquisitions have only recently and increasingly seen antitrust scrutiny.
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On Wednesday, November 8, 2017 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted a workshop seeking to explore the general question of why the cost of prescription drugs has risen greatly in recent history. The Workshop was framed around industry development in the time since the enactment of the Hatch-Waxman Act in 1984.
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Residents of a small Nashville suburb, Thompson’s Station, were given a second opportunity to litigate their antitrust actions against local developer Carbine & Associates, LLC (“Carbine”), Crystal Clear Communications (“Crystal Clear”), and others.
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Washington State AG Alleges Price Fixing and Sues to Break Up Rapidly Expanding Health System

September 11, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short, Shawn Skolky

After five years of growth through a series of acquisitions, the Washington State Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit to thwart and unwind the most recent expansion efforts of Franciscan Health System (“CHI Franciscan”) for violating both federal and state antitrust laws.
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Dayton Hospital Antitrust Case Comes to an End: Joint Venture Activities Not “Per Se” Unlawful

August 16, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short

On the eve of trial, and after years of litigation (including an appeal to the Sixth Circuit), all claims by Dayton, Ohio hospital The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place against Premier Health Partners have been dismissed with prejudice.
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“No Shop” Clause Radioactive for Merger’s “Failing Firm” Defense

July 21, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Farrah Short

Last week a Delaware federal district court unsealed its earlier opinion blocking the merger of two radioactive waste disposal companies. 
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A New Jersey district court recently denied a motion to dismiss in an antitrust class action alleging that a physician association illegally tied board certification to association membership in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Talone, et. al. v. The American Osteopathic Association, Case No. 1:16-cv-04644 (D. N.J. Jun. 12, 2017).
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Antitrust Suit Against Michigan Hospital Moves Forward As Both Sides Denied Summary Judgment

June 5, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Dionne Lomax, Farrah Short

A federal district court denied summary judgment motions brought by both sides in the government’s antitrust suit against a Michigan hospital alleging an agreement not to compete in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. U.S. v. Hillsdale Community Health Center, 5:15-cv-12311 (E.D. Mich. May 31, 2017).
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Even with a reduced lineup of only two commissioners — the Republican Acting Chair and one Democratic Commissioner — the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC” or “Commission”) filed an administrative complaint this week against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (the “Louisiana Board”) alleging that the Louisiana Board unreasonably restrains competition in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act by limiting the freedom of individual appraisers and their customers to engage in negotiations to set fees for real estate appraisals.
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DOJ Anti-Steering Suit Against Carolinas Healthcare Survives Preliminary Motion

April 3, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Dionne Lomax, Farrah Short

On March 30, 2017, in a closely watched case, a federal district court denied the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed by Carolinas Healthcare against the DOJ Antitrust Division and State of North Carolina’s Complaint alleging that Carolinas Healthcare insisted on contract provisions with payors that limited or prohibited steering to lower-cost providers. US v. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, No. 3:16-cv-00311 (W.D. N.C., Mar. 30, 2017).
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The FTC and State of Illinois Solidify Victory Blocking Chicago Hospital Merger

March 24, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Dionne Lomax

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the State of Illinois successfully concluded their challenge to the proposed merger of Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University Health System earlier this month, when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction enjoining the health systems from consummating their proposed merger.
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