FTC/DOJ Release Agenda for Upcoming Sessions of Joint Health Care Hearings

For Release

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The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice today released a detailed agenda for the March/April session of their joint hearings on health care and competition law and policy along with an outline of the entirety of the hearings. The websites for the hearings are located at http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/healthcarehearings/ and http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/hchearing.htm.

The first set of hearings, which was previously announced, will be held on February 26-28, 2003 at the FTC Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C.

The second set of hearings, focusing on hospitals, is scheduled for March 26-28, 2003 and April 9-11, 2003 at the FTC Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. On March 26, 2003, the hearings will examine product and geographic markets for hospitals. On March 27, 2003, the hearings will focus on single-specialty hospitals, and hospital contracting practices. On March 28, 2003, the hearings will consider issues in litigating hospital mergers. On April 9, 2003, the hearings will explore horizontal networks and vertical arrangements. On April 10, 2003, the hearings will examine nonprofit status and joint ventures/joint operating agreements. On April 11, 2003, the hearings will focus on post-merger conduct.

The third set of hearings, to be held April 23-25, 2003 and April 30-May 1, 2003, in the Great Hall at Main Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., will focus on issues involving health insurers.

The fourth set of hearings, to be held in late-May, 2003, will focus on quality and consumer information. The fifth set of hearings, to be held during late June, 2003 will focus on physician issues and non-price competition.

Specific times and participants for each of these hearing days will be announced subsequently, along with a detailed agenda for two additional months of hearings, to be held during July 2003 and September 2003.

As noted in the Federal Register notice announcing this event, any interested person may submit written comments responsive to any of the topics to be addressed. Comments directed at a particular subject considered during a particular session of hearings must be submitted no later than 45 days after the date of that specific hearing session. Comments on broader subjects within the general scope of the hearings may be submitted at any time after the publication of this notice, but no later than November 28, 2003.

Written comments should be submitted in both hard copy and electronic form. Six hard copies of each submission should be addressed to Donald S. Clark, Office of the Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Submissions should be captioned: "Comments Regarding Hearings on Health Care and Competition Law and Policy." Electronic submissions may be sent by electronic mail to healthcare@ftc.gov. Alternatively, electronic submissions may be filed on a 3-1/2 inch computer disk with a label stating the name of the submitter and the name and version of the word processing program used to create the document.

Information about the health care hearings is available on the Web sites for the hearings, www.ftc.gov/ogc/healthcarehearings/ or www.usdoj.gov/atr/hchearing.htm and from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Angela Wilson is the staff assistant for the hearings. She may be reached by e-mail at: awilson@ftc.gov or 202-326-3190.

Contact Information

FTC Media Contact:
Cathy MacFarlane,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-3657
FTC Staff Contact:
David Hyman, Special Counsel,
202-326-2622