Opportunity to Provide Input to the Federal Trade Commission on Health Care Competition

Health Law Alert

March 4, 2014

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is holding a public workshop in Washington, D.C. on March 20 and 21, 2014, on "Examining Health Care Competition." The five broad topics of the workshop are:

Professional Regulation of Health Care Providers. Among the subjects are whether current state regulations unnecessarily restrict certain types of professionals, such as advanced nurse practitioners and dental therapists, from providing services; whether state-by-state variations in regulations affect patient health, health care spending, or other important matters; and whether regulations lead to reimbursement policies that reduce incentives for competition.

Innovations in Health Care Delivery. Among the subjects are whether newer delivery models, particularly retail clinics and telemedicine, offer cost savings or quality improvement; and whether these models expand consumer access to care.

Advancements in Health Care Technology. Among the subjects is the competitive impact of electronic health records, health data exchanges, and consumer-oriented health technologies.

Measuring and Assessing Quality of Health Care. Among the subjects is whether information related to quality of care affects competition and informs health care choices by patients, providers, employers, payers and other health care decision-makers.

Price Transparency of Health Care Services. Among the subjects is whether price transparency can enhance competition or, alternatively, facilitate price coordination among providers.

A complete list of the subjects to be explored can be found at Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 36, p. 10153-56, 02/24/14.

Written comments to be considered for use at the Workshop are to be submitted by March 10, 2014. Written comments on the topics and on the discussions at the Workshop can be submitted by April 30, 2014. Be aware that all comments will become part of the public record. The Workshop will be webcast on the FTC's website. The Workshop may result in the FTC later publishing a report or policy paper.

For additional information on the FTC Workshop, contact your regular Hinshaw attorney.