The U.S.’s pursuit of lower health care costs and higher quality health care services has included the incentivizing of new organizational structures and payment models that trigger long standing concerns about maintaining competition in the health care system. As a result of these developments, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice is hosting its second “Examining Health Care Competition” public workshop. The workshop could not be more timely: earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s ruling that the merger of St. Luke’s Health Systems, Ltd. and Saltzer Medical Group violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act, agreeing with the district court that the anticompetitive effects outweighed the potential efficiencies of the merger.
The workshop began yesterday and continues through this evening. It will be exploring five main themes:
- early observations regarding accountable care organizations;
- alternatives to traditional fee-for-service payment models;
- trends in provider consolidation;
- trends in provider network and benefit design strategies; and
- early observations regarding health insurance exchanges.
Mintz Levin’s Dionne Lomax will be participating as a panelist in tonight’s Summation Roundtable in which the various panelists will discuss the antitrust implications of evolving provider and payment models. Today’s workshop events, including Dionne’s panel at 5:30pm tonight, can be streamed live from the FTC’s website. Video of both days as well as transcripts of the entire event will also be available.