May 01, 2018

DOJ Deputy Attorney General Bernard Nigro to speak at ABA’s Antitrust in Healthcare conference

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2018 —  Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bernard Nigro of the U.S. Department of Justice will be the keynote speaker for the American Bar Association’s Antitrust in Healthcare conference, May 17-18, in Arlington, Va. Nigro will deliver his address from 10-10:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 17.

The conference brings together leading government enforcers from the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, private counsel representing both plaintiffs and defendants and highly experienced economists to share their insights and offer practical advice and policy recommendations.

In addition to the keynote address, a key highlight will be Friday’s plenary session from 8-9 a.m. entitled, “View from the Enforcers.” This panel will feature enforcement officers Ian R. Conner, deputy director, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.; Victor J. Domen, senior antitrust counsel, Office of the Attorney General, Nashville, Tenn.; and Peter J. Mucchetti, chief, Healthcare & Consumer Products Section, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Washington, D.C. They will discuss issues of enforcement by federal and state agencies in health care, recent FTC challenges to physician mergers in Minnesota and North Dakota and ongoing Justice Department litigation against hospitals that engage in allegedly anticompetitive behavior, among other topics.

What:        
Antitrust in Healthcare
Co-sponsored by ABA Section of Antitrust Law, ABA Health Law Section
and the American Health Lawyers Association

When:       
May 17-18, 2018    

Where:      
The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City
1250 S. Hayes St.
Arlington, VA. 22202

Program highlights include:

“Horizontal Collaborations: JVS, JOAS, Service Line Consolidations” — Health care providers are engaging in innovative transactions short of full mergers. These can raise the same issues as mergers (does a joint venture aggregate market power?) and additional issues as well (are the parties colluding?). The panel will discuss the Sixth Circuit’s perplexing decision reviewing a joint operating company in Dayton, Ohio.

Thursday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

“Pharma: Pay for Delay – How are the Courts Applying Actavis?” — In FTC v. Actavis (2013), the Supreme Court held that drug patent settlements restricting generic entry and involving brand-to-generic payments can be anticompetitive and must be adjudicated under the rule of reason. The court also set forth a number of factors that could be important to the lower courts’ analyses. Panelists, including Daniel W. Butrymowicz, staff attorney, Health Care Division, Bureau of Competition, FTC, Washington, D.C., will discuss the state of the law five years later.

Thursday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

“Hospital Mergers: Counseling Clients in Light of the Appellate Cases” — “I fought the FTC and the FTC won,” could be the hit song after the agency’s hospital and physician merger wins in the Third, Seventh and Ninth Circuits over the last three years. How do lawyers and economists counsel clients who still seek a merger? What arguments might still sway the FTC or a court? A panel, including Kevin Hahm, deputy assistant director Mergers IV, Bureau of Competition, FTC, will discuss these issues and more.

Thursday, 2:45-3:45 p.m.

“Physician Practice Mergers” — The Federal Trade Commission, and some states, have increasingly focused on physician mergers it considers anticompetitive. A panel, including Melissa C. Hill, attorney, FTC, Washington, D.C., will examine the recent history of challenges to physician mergers and consider how litigating a physician merger is similar to – or different from – litigating a hospital merger.

Thursday, 4-5 p.m.

“Competition or Regulation? State Copa Laws & Hospital Mergers” — In 2017, applying state laws that confer antitrust immunity, Tennessee and Virginia approved a hospital merger over opposition from FTC staff. In 2016, West Virginia did the same. Is this a developing trend that other states and hospitals will continue, or are they singular events, a coincidence in time? The panel, including Mark D. Seidman, deputy assistant director, Mergers IV, Bureau of Competition, FTC, will debate emerging issues.

Friday, 1:15-2:15 p.m.

A complete agenda and updated list of speakers can be found online.

There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Robert Robinson at 202-662-1097 or Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

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