August 11, 2020

Volume X, Number 224

August 10, 2020

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The FTC’s Annual Report Shows Continued Interest in Health Care

In April 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) released its annual report for 2019. The FTC’s annual report details the FTC’s actions over the prior year. In 2019, similar to other years, the health care industry represented 46 percent of the FTC’s competition enforcement actions. That 46 percent was split between general health care (18 percent) and pharmaceuticals and medical devices (28 percent). The report stated the following:

The Commission has long prioritized competition in health care markets because such competition helps contain costs, improves quality, increases access, and encourages innovation. Relying primarily on enforcement, the Commission works to prevent anticompetitive mergers and conduct that would harm competition in these markets.

While 2019 did not include any enforcement actions against hospitals, the FTC did bring actions against other types of providers in the health care industry. In addition, as it normally does, the FTC provided comments and guidance to state governing bodies addressing professional practice issues and filed two amicus briefs related to the issue of state action immunity.

The to-date and current activities by the FTC suggest that 2020 will be yet another year in which the agency largely focuses on the health care sector.

©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 163


About this Author

John Steren, Epstein Becker Law Firm, Health Care Litigation Attorney

E. John Steren is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation & Business Disputes practices, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. Mr. Steren devotes a significant portion of his practice to helping health care organizations manage the antitrust risks of joint ventures and other business arrangements. He also focuses his practice on other complex commercial and civil litigation matters.

Patricia M. Wagner, Epstein becker green, health care, life sciences

PATRICIA M. WAGNER is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm's Washington, DC, office. In 2014, Ms. Wagner was selected to the Washington DC Super Lawyers list in the area of Health Care.

Ms. Wagner's experience includes the following:

Advising clients on a variety of matters related to federal and state antitrust issues 

Representing clients in antitrust matters in front of the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Department of Justice, and state antitrust authorities 

Advising clients on issues related HIPAA Privacy and security

Advising clients on issues related to state licensure and regulatory requirements