DOJ Antitrust Head Remains Focused on Health Care in Era of Consolidation

Speaking at an industry conference on November 13, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer reiterated the government’s focus on competition concerns in the health care industry. According to Baer, head of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, while the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “promotes …

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Two More Hospitals Qualify for Exception to Exception to Grandfather Exception to Elimination of Whole Hospital Exception to Stark Law Prohibition

The Stark Law generally prohibits physicians from referring Medicare and Medicaid patients to facilities in which they have an ownership interest.  There used to be a “whole hospital exception” excluding entire hospitals (as contrasted to departments or parts of hospitals) from the prohibition. The …

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Whistleblower Filed Too Early & Too Late for Share of $322M SCAN Scam Recovery

In a miracle of bad timing, Jim Swoben managed to lose out on a share of the $322 million recovery against SCAN health Plan by being both too early and too late in filing his qui tam action. During his days as a data encounter manager at SCAN, Jim suspected the company had been double-billing Medicare and …

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Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing to St. Luke’s Health System

The Ninth Circuit will not reconsider its decision to force St. Luke’s Health System to unwind its purchase of Saltzer Medical Group, the largest physician practice group in the relevant Idaho market. The ruling leaves in place a victory for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the merger row. In February, …

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The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

We don’t normally think of American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals as friends.  After all, the AHA represents nonprofits, while the FAH represents for-profits.  But in recent days something has brought them together: their mutual opposition to the physician-owned hospitals’ …

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Ninth Circuit Upholds Ruling for FTC in Hospital Merger Challenge

The Ninth Circuit upheld a district court’s ruling ordering St. Luke’s Health System to unwind its purchase of the Saltzer Medical Group.  The decision is another victory for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its renewed focus on potential competition concerns in health care. The FTC originally sued to …

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