Commission Approves FY 2011 Budget Request and GPRA Performance Plans for Submission to Congress; FTC Staff: Proposed Kentucky Regulations for Licensing Retail Clinics Raise Competitive Concerns; FTC Issues Annual Financial Acts Enforcement Report to

For Your Information

Commission Approves FY 2011 Budget Request and GPRA Performance Plans for Submission to Congress

The Federal Trade Commission has approved its FY 2011 Budget Overview Statement and the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Performance Plans for FY 2010 and FY 2011. These documents are part of the FTC’s formal budget request that was submitted to Congress on February 1, 2010, in support of the President’s submission of the FY2011 budget for the U.S. government. The Commission vote to approve and submit the budget request and performance plans exhibit to Congress was 4-0. (FTC File No. P859900; the staff contact is James Baker, 202-326-3168.)

FTC Staff: Proposed Kentucky Regulations for Licensing Retail Clinics Raise Competitive Concerns

The Federal Trade Commission’s staff has sent a letter to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) stating that certain new regulations proposed for the licensing of “limited service clinics” (LSCs) in the state raise competitive concerns and are likely to increase the cost of health services for Kentucky consumers, particularly the uninsured. LSCs – which are sometimes called “retail clinics” or “store-based clinics” – are one way to deliver a limited range of basic health care services in a clinic setting.

The proposed rule would regulate the operation of LSCs in Kentucky. While many provisions of the proposed rule mirror basic consumer protection standards in other states and do not raise competitive concerns, according to the FTC staff comments, several provisions impose distinct costs and restrictions on LSCs, but not on other limited-care operations such as urgent care centers.

According to the comments, those provisions would limit the scope of professional services that licensed health care professionals could provide at Kentucky LSCs, would impose physical or operational restrictions on LSCs but not comparable limited-care settings, and would impose on LSCs licensing fees greater than those imposed on all other categories of health care facilities. Each provision could limit market entry by LSCs, reducing competition from LSCs on the price, convenience, and availability of basic health care services in the state, the staff concludes. Health and safety consumer protection benefits can offset the costs of potentially anticompetitive regulations, but there is no evidence that the discriminatory provisions in the proposed rule are likely to provide such benefits.

The staffs of the Office Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition, and Bureau of Economics submitted the comments, which can be found on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release, on January 28, 2010, in response to a call for public comments from the CHFS’s Office of Inspector General.

The FTC vote approving the staff letter was 4-0. (FTC File No. V100007; the staff contact is Daniel J. Gilman, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-3136. See related press release dated October 2, 2007, at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/10/massdph.shtm.)

FTC Issues Annual Financial Acts Enforcement Report to Federal Reserve

The Federal Trade Commission has issued its annual report to the Federal Reserve Board on FTC enforcement efforts in 2009 related to four consumer finance laws: the Truth in Lending Act, Consumer Leasing Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The report is now available on the FTC’s Web site and as a link to this press release. The Commission vote approving issuance of the report was 4-0. (FTC File No. P064808; the staff contacts are Lynette Hotchkiss, 202-326-2303, and Carole L. Reynolds, 202-326-3230, Bureau of Consumer Protection.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

(FYI 6.5.2010.wpd)

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