The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice will commence public hearings in Washington, D.C. on February 26, 2003 on the implications of competition law and policy for health care financing and delivery. The hearings will broadly consider the impact of competition law and policy on the cost, quality, and availability of health care, and the incentives for innovation in the field.
Specific subjects to be considered include hospital mergers, the significance of non-profit status, vertical integration, quality and efficiencies, the boundaries of the state action and Noerr-Pennington doctrines, monopsony power, the adequacy of existing remedies for anticompetitive conduct, and the implications of the Commission's consumer protection mandate with regard to the performance of the health care financing and delivery markets.
The goal is to promote dialogue, learning, and consensus building among all interested parties. The FTC and the DOJ plan to hold three to five days of hearings per month between March and September 2003, exclusive of August 2003.