Saturday, October 13, 2007
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
On October 25, 2007, Saint Louis University School of Law and the Antitrust Section of the ABA will co-sponsor a symposium concerning the antitrust and policy issues posed by physician-sponsored hospitals and other health facilities. The problems presented by these organizations fall squarely at the intersection of antitrust and regulatory policy. Physician-sponsored hospitals are developing in states that do not restrict entry by certificate of need regulation and may supply a valuable source of competition in concentrated hospital markets. (A series of losses by the government in federal court in the 1990s permitted a wave of hospital mergers around the country that significantly increased market concentration). At the same time, studies show physician owners have been able to steer healthier and better insured patients to the facilities they own than are left behind at the community hospitals in which they formerly practiced. Lacking obligations to serve the uninsured, these facilities also benefit from lower costs. Not surprisingly, a number of cases have been filed alleging anticompetitive activities by hospitals seeking to curtail entry or deny specialty hospitals access to third party payors or services they need to compete.
Speakers will include representatives of the physician, acute care hospital and specialty hospital sectors, an economist, and a representative from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. See the attached brochure for registration information if you wish to attend. In addition the program with be available in podcast and video formats in November.