Health Law Observer

Timely insights and legal commentary on various health care issues and developments surrounding regulations, employment, transactions and a range of key industry matters. This blog is maintained by the Health Care Department of Stevens & Lee.

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Maryland Extends Reach of the FTC’s Proposed Non-Compete Ban to Veterinary and Health Care Professionals

Though Maryland’s actions follow a nationwide trend to significantly limit non-competes, the state goes further by covering the “gap” left within the FTC’s Proposed Rule

FTC Announces Special Open Commission Meeting and Vote on Rule Banning Noncompete Clauses

The FTC’s virtual Open Commission Meeting will be held on April 23 at 2 p.m. ET purposes of voting on whether to issue a proposed final rule that would generally prevent most employers from enforcing noncompete clauses against workers.

HIPAA Implications of Using Web and App Data Tracking Tech

Website and app data tracking technologies may fall under HIPAA scrutiny when electronic protected health information is collected.
gavel and stethoscope

Health Care Antitrust Update Part II: Recent Federal and State Enforcement Initiatives and Litigation Involving the FTC’s Constitutional Authority

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services launched a major public inquiry into merger and acquisition transactions involving private equity firms, health systems and private payers to learn

Health Care Antitrust Update Part I: Key Developments in Antitrust Litigation Involving Health Care Acquisitions and Mergers

Recent lawsuits spotlight the specific types of conduct that may give rise to lawsuits alleging antitrust violations and offer a glimpse into likely developments with respect to federal and state initiatives.

New CMS Informed Consent Guidance for Sensitive Examinations of Unconscious Patients

Effective immediately, the CMS Guidance requires hospitals to ensure that medical professionals obtain and document the patients’ informed consent before sensitive examinations or invasive procedures.

Corporate Transparency Act: Reporting Requirements for Health Care Entities

To comply with the recent Corporate Transparency Act, owners and operators of a wide range of healthcare entities may be subject to report beneficial ownership information.

Update to Federal Substance Use Disorder Treatment Records Privacy Regulations – Part 2

The long-awaited federal Final Rule modifying the regulations that govern the privacy of substance use disorder treatment records remain stricter than HIPAA, especially regarding disclosures.

FTC, DOJ and HHS Launch Public Inquiry into Transactions Involving Private Equity Firms, Health Systems and Private Payers

the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and the Department of Health and Human Services announced that they were “launching a cross-government public inquiry into private equity and other corporations’ increasing control
Stethoscope on Money

Estate Planning Essentials for Health Care Providers: Protecting Legacy and Loved Ones

Estate planning is especially important for healthcare providers who often have unique assets, liabilities and professional responsibilities.

New York Non-Compete Ban Vetoed but Proposal Lives On

New York Governor Cathy Hochul recently vetoed a bill that would have enacted a sweeping ban on non-competition covenants.
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FTC/DOJ Merger Guidelines: Assessment of Rebuttal Evidence

Overall, the focus of this evidentiary review appears to be on whether the merger will produce substantial competitive benefits, i.e., will improve competition in the relevant market or prevent the threat that it may be lessened.
puzzle with new piece

Analysis: How the FTC and DOJ Final Merger Guidelines Impact on Health Care System Mergers

The merger guidelines will impact every health care system merger. In highly concentrated markets, a merger that eliminates a significant competitor creates significant risk that the merger may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.
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New Annual Report Filing for PA Entities: What Should Businesses Consider?

PA entities and businesses should become familiar with the new annual reporting requirements and consider a few practical implications.
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2024 Brings Increased Scrutiny for Merging Health Care Firms

The Guidelines are intended to “reflect modern market realities, advances in economics and law, and the lived experiences of a diverse array of market participants.”
stethoscope on book

How Do Personal Health Records Relate to HIPAA?

We delve into how Personal Health Records (PHR) differ from Electronic Health Records, key regulations affecting PHR, and how entities handling PHR approach compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
nursing home

Hospital at Home Programs Are Sticking Around

An analysis of the "Hospital at Home" program, its waivers and the key considerations for qualified hospitals that may want to pursue it.

New York to Decide on Signing Non-Competition Ban into Law

New York businessowners and employees alike await a decision from Governor Kathy Hochul as to proposed legislation, which has passed in both the New York State Senate and General Assembly, that would ban most non-competition covenants in the state.

U.S. Anesthesia Partners and Welsh Carson File Motions to Dismiss FTC Antitrust Case

In its complaint, the FTC alleges that USAP and Welsh Carson carried out a three-part plan to consolidate and monopolize the anesthesiology market in Texas.
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DOJ Drops No-Poach Criminal Case

This dismissal comes in the aftermath of the DOJ having previously lost four other criminal cases involving either no-poach or wage-fixing agreements.

Patients Suing Hospitals for Antitrust Violations – Do They Have Standing?

A recently decided case out of Connecticut provides a useful examination of how antitrust standing issues may be analyzed in cases involving commercially insured patients directly suing a health care system alleging economic harm.

OIG Issues General Compliance Program Guidance

This well-laid out reference guide will make life easier for compliance professionals and applies to all health care industry stakeholders.

Evading Transaction Roadblocks: Strategies for Common Late-Stage Dealbreakers

Late-stage transaction conflicts are not impassible and, if considered appropriately, can even result in an additional benefit to the Seller.

OIG Issues Unfavorable Opinion on Free Gifts for Purchasing Reimbursable Devices

The OIG recently ruled that a proposed arrangement offering that required additional devices billed to federal health care programs would violate the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the Beneficiary Inducements Civil Monetary Penalties Law.
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