Two Renown Health Acquisitions Gave it 88 Percent of the Cardiology Market

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In late 2010, Renown Health agreed to acquire SNCA’s medical practice and hire its 15 cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Before this, Renown Health did not employ any cardiologists, and the acquisition positioned it as a direct competitor of RHP. In March 2011, Renown Health acquired RHP and hired its 16 Reno-area cardiologists. According to the FTC’s complaint, other than the physicians associated with SNCA and RHP, there are very few cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Accordingly, the FTC alleged, competition for adult cardiology services was effectively eliminated.

In addition, the contracts between Renown Health and the newly hired cardiologists included “non-compete” provisions, which effectively prevented them from joining medical practices that competed with Renown Health. As a result of the acquisitions and non-compete clauses, the FTC contends, Renown Health currently employs 88 percent of the cardiologists in the Reno area.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Renown Health’s acquisitions of SNCA’s and RHP’s medical practices created a highly concentrated market for the provision of adult cardiology services in the Reno area, in violation of federal law. The complaint alleges that the consolidation of the competing practices into a single cardiology group controlled by Renown Health led to the elimination of competition based on price, quality, and other terms. In addition, according to the complaint, the consolidation increased the bargaining power that Renown Health has with insurers, and this may lead to higher prices for adult cardiology services in the Reno area.

Renown Health, the largest provider of acute care hospital services in northern Nevada, will release its staff cardiologists from “non-compete” contract clauses, allowing up to 10 of them to join competing cardiology practices. Renown Health has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its recent acquisitions of two local cardiology groups reduced competition for the provision of adult cardiology services in the Reno area.

Renown Health, based in Reno, Nevada, operates general acute care hospitals and commercial health plans serving the Reno area. Before the recent acquisitions, virtually all of the cardiologists in the Reno area were affiliated with two medical groups – Sierra Nevada Cardiology Associates (SNCA) and Reno Heart Physicians (RHP).

In late 2010, Renown Health agreed to acquire SNCA’s medical practice and hire its 15 cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Before this, Renown Health did not employ any cardiologists, and the acquisition positioned it as a direct competitor of RHP. In March 2011, Renown Health acquired RHP and hired its 16 Reno-area cardiologists. According to the FTC’s complaint, other than the physicians associated with SNCA and RHP, there are very few cardiologists practicing in the Reno area. Accordingly, the FTC alleged, competition for adult cardiology services was effectively eliminated.

In addition, the contracts between Renown Health and the newly hired cardiologists included “non-compete” provisions, which effectively prevented them from joining medical practices that competed with Renown Health. As a result of the acquisitions and non-compete clauses, the FTC contends, Renown Health currently employs 88 percent of the cardiologists in the Reno area.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Renown Health’s acquisitions of SNCA’s and RHP’s medical practices created a highly concentrated market for the provision of adult cardiology services in the Reno area, in violation of federal law. The complaint alleges that the consolidation of the competing practices into a single cardiology group controlled by Renown Health led to the elimination of competition based on price, quality, and other terms. In addition, according to the complaint, the consolidation increased the bargaining power that Renown Health has with insurers, and this may lead to higher prices for adult cardiology services in the Reno area.

Program’s Numerous Safeguards Make It Unlikely to Harm Competition:

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition staff has issued an advisory opinion letter, in response to a request from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), stating that the staff will not recommend a challenge to an initiative intended to help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration respond to the unprecedented increase in shortages of critically important medications.

The proposed program, called the Accelerated Recovery Initiative (ARI), would provide the FDA with information that GPhA believes will enable the FDA staff “more efficiently and effectively to accelerate the recovery of critical drugs in short supply.” The staff letter explains that a key element of the ARI is an agreement among drug manufacturers to pool competitively sensitive production information about shortage drugs. As a result, the ARI would raise substantial antitrust concerns if this information were shared among competitors, because such information could facilitate collusion among drug manufacturers.

However, the advisory opinion states, “GPhA has designed the program to safeguard competitively sensitive information” and “to limit the potential that the ARI might result in harm to competition.” Among other things, the letter notes, GPhA has selected an independent third-party to collect and transmit the data to the FDA, and no other party – including GPhA – will have access to the information or any analysis derived from it. In addition, the advisory opinion states, the ARI includes other features intended to minimize the risk that the program would facilitate collusion among drug manufacturers or cause other harm to competition, such as requiring binding commitments on ARI participants not to use the program for anticompetitive ends.

In light of all these safeguards, the FTC staff concludes that the proposed ARI program is unlikely to harm competition. Therefore, the staff has no present intention to recommend an enforcement action to challenge the program, “if it is implemented as described and the safeguards it contains are adhered to in practice.”

#cardiology, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #nevada, #reno, #reno-nevada, #renown-health, #snca

FTC Seeks Comments on Additional Proposed Revisions to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

Privowiki main page screenshot

Privowiki main page screenshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FTC Seeks Comments on Additional Proposed Revisions to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule

Children’s On-line Privacy Protection Rule has not changed since 1999 and this will be the first real overall of the system.

With the rise of social media ever on our mind it has become a matter of not just how ,we protect our children! But the fact we must at all costs shield them from the type of people who will at any cost, exploit their social appetite for such sites as Facebook and the like!

As the rise of social media has grown to obtain every extra morsel of information about our lives, it has led to many cases of children being exploited for gain! As in the past we have moaned and tried to stop our children consuming sugary drinks or eating quick snacks and we failed.

This time it is different and we must act now and l welcome any changes that will strengthen this act and provide a way to protect their fragile minds!

This time we must not fail them, they are our future!

via FTC Seeks Comments on Additional Proposed Revisions to Children’s On-line Privacy Protection Rule.

#child, #children, #childrens-online-privacy-protection-act, #coppa, #federal-trade-commission, #ftc, #httpwww-facebook-comacedebtnews, #internet-privacy, #personally-identifiable-information, #privacy, #security, #social-media