The Federal Trade Commission will host a one-day public workshop on April 24, 2008, to examine recent trends in health care delivery. In a series of panel discussions, workshop participants will consider the competition and consumer protection issues regarding particular health care delivery innovations. These participants will represent a broad range of interests, including physician and healthcare associations, industry, government, privacy groups, academics, and other experts.
Specifically, the workshop will focus on the following areas:
Limited Service Clinics:
These clinics, which generally are located in pharmacies, shopping malls, and retail stores, provide a limited menu of medical treatment, most often performed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants. Although some groups believe these clinics will improve access to care for underserved populations, others have raised questions about quality of care and adequacy of oversight. These concerns have prompted proposals for additional state regulation of this relatively new health care delivery model.
Price and Quality Transparency:
Initiatives to provide consumers with greater information about the price they pay for health care and the quality of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers rest on the idea that armed with more information about the relative prices and quality of competing health care providers, consumers can make better choices, which in turn can lead to higher quality care and lower health care costs. Some observers, however, have expressed concern that quality ratings may not adequately capture actual quality of care and may place too much emphasis on low prices. Further, sharing of pricing information can raise competition issues.
Health information Technology:
Electronic health records have the potential to reduce administrative costs and medical errors due to incomplete or faulty paper records. The Department of Health and Human Services has developed an extensive framework to facilitate the adoption of electronic health records by the medical community, including the certification of particular products for creating and maintaining such records. Private companies, such as popular online consumer sites, have also started offering personal electronic health record services. Electronic access to medical expertise – such as through transfer of diagnostic imaging, real time doctor/patient and doctor/doctor consultation, and remote monitoring – also has the potential to improve the distribution of medical services. One of the primary consumer protection issues for health information technology is patient privacy and the application of current federal and state privacy protections to electronic health records. Concerns about interoperability of electronic record systems and the impact of state laws on interstate electronic consultation and monitoring also implicate competition concerns.
The Commission invites interested parties to submit requests to be panelists. The requests should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 24, 2008, and should include information about the parties’ expertise on the issues they propose to address, and complete contact information. The Commission will select panelists based on expertise and the need to represent a range of views about the issues. Panelists selected to participate will be notified by April 3, 2008. For questions, contact Daniel Gilman (email@example.com, or 202-326-3136). Any person also may submit written comments on the topics to be addressed at the conference by May 30, 2008, in the manner specified below.
The workshop, which will be free and open to the public, will be held at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. All attendees will be required to display a current driver's license or other valid form of photo identification. Members of the public and press who wish to participate but who cannot attend, can view a live Webcast of the workshop through the link below.
Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Carrie Mcglothlin at (202)326-3388. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.
Pre-registration for this workshop is not required, but is encouraged, so that we may better plan for the event.
To pre-register, email your name and affiliation to email@example.com.
NOTE: When you pre-register, we will collect your name, affiliation, and your email address. This information will be used to estimate how many people will attend. We may use your email address to contact you with information about the workshop.