A per se violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, generally requires an agreement among horizontal competitors that unreasonably restrains trade. To withstand a motion to dismiss, a Section 1 plaintiff must allege facts that suggest direct of evidence of an agreement among the defendants, as opposed to alleging facts that merely are consistent with parallel conduct. These principles have been referred to by some courts as creating a heightened pleading standard for Section 1 claims.
In Arapahoe Surgery Center, LLC, et al. v. Cigna Healthcare, Inc., et al., 2015 U.S. Dist. Lexis 28375 (D. CO.), the Colorado District Court determined that the plaintiffs’ allegations of a group boycott were sufficient to meet the pleading requirements under Section 1, and therefore denied a motion to dismiss filed by three insurance carrier defendants. The specificity of the factual allegations concerning the agreement among the defendants, and the acts in furtherance thereof, underscore the importance of antitrust compliance in the healthcare and health insurance industries. Continue reading “Specific Facts Suggest Hospitals and Insurers Agreed to Group Boycott”
This regulation was adopted to correct technical and typographic errors identified in a final rule published November 24, 2010, titled “Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and CY 2011 Payment Rates; Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System and CY 2011 Payment Rates; Payments to Hospitals for Graduate Medical Education Costs; Physician Self-Referral Rules and Related Changes to Provider Agreement Regulations; Payment for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Services Furnished in Rural Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals.” The errors were found in the preamble and addenda B, AA and BB of the November 2010 final rule. The new regulation also incorporates changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) for CY 2011, which appeared in a January 11, 2011, CY 2011 MPFS correction notice. The corrections are effective January 1, 2011, as if they were initially included in the November final rule.
More information about the November final rule can be found here. A detailed summary of the corrected errors can be found on the Office of the Federal Register website.
This regulation, issued on November 24, 2010, outlines several changes to the Medicare program regarding the following: (1) the hospital outpatient prospective payment system, (2) the ambulatory surgical center payment system, (3) payments to hospitals for graduate medical education (GME) costs and indirect medical education (IME) costs, (4) rules governing physician self-referrals and related provider agreements in hospitals where physicians have investment interests or in hospitals owned by physicians, and (4) payments for certified registered nurse anesthetist services in rural and critical access areas. Changes to the hospital and ambulatory surgical centers payments systems will be to the amounts and factors used to determine payment rates. For both GME and IME hospital payments this regulation implements new provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With respect to physician self-referrals, this regulation introduces new limitations. And as to anesthesia services there will be changes to the effective date of when hospitals can begin receiving reasonable cost payments for these services.
Summary: This regulation was adopted in order to correct technical errors that were identified in two documents regarding hospital outpatient prospective payment: a final rule and its subsequent correction document. The final rule containing errors is titled “Medicare Program: Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and CY 2010 Payment Rates; Changes to the Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System and CY 2010 Payment Rates.” The subsequent correction document also containing errors is titled “Medicare Program: Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and CY 2010 Payment Rates; Changes to the Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System and CY 2010 Payment Rates” Continue reading “Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and CY 2010 Payment Rates”