4 healthcare antitrust issues to watch

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In the Press

Thomas Greaney
Thomas GreaneyDistinguished Fellow and Advisory Board Member

 Samantha Liss
March 1, 2021


Distinguished Fellow and Advisory Board Member Tim Greaney was quoted in the 3/1/2021 Healthcare Dive article “4 healthcare antitrust issues to watch“:

A potential focus on antitrust from Becerra would be a welcome change for some.

Tim Greaney, an antitrust expert and professor at University of California at Hastings, agreed, noting that prior HHS policies have sometimes encouraged consolidation.

He pointed to the site of care policy that allowed hospital-owned centers to receive higher Medicare reimbursement than an independent physician group. Ultimately, it incentivized hospitals to buy physician practices to pull in higher payments.

The blockbuster Sutter settlement in California may invite increased scrutiny of dominant providers in other regions of the country.

The settlement resolved allegations that the largest system in Northern California drove up prices through its anticompetitive practices.

Some legal experts think it might inspire other private groups to file suit.

“It might invigorate a few more suits, private suits, because remember the Sutter case was initially brought and settled by the grocer’s union,” Greaney said, noting many markets in the U.S. have a dominant health system.

Still, he cautioned the cases are time-consuming and an uphill battle for state AGs with fewer resources. Greaney said he’s been focused on what state legislatures can do to curb market power, which may be more effective and speedier than legal pursuits.

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