|Type of paper:||Essay|
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Antitrust laws refer to competition laws. They are the statutes developed by the government of the United States to protect the consumers from other predatory businesses as well as their practices. These laws are in place to ensure the existence of an open-market economy. The laws are dynamic and evolve along with the market, and guard against the potential monopolies as well as the disruptions to the productive ebb and the competition flow. The antitrust laws are applied to the various unscrupulous business activities that include market allocation, price fixing, bid rigging, and monopolies. These laws are beneficial to the consumers by enabling them to benefit from a wide range of options as well as the competition in the market place. Without the existence of these antitrust laws, the consumers would be forced to pay higher prices with a limited supply of products as well as services. This paper will focus on the three antitrust cases which are Marion Healthcare LLC v. Southern Illinois Healthcare, U.S. and State of Michigan v. Hillsdale Community Health Center, W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital, D/B/A Allegiance Health, Community Health Center of Branch County, and ProMedica Health Systems, Inc., and U.S. et al. v. Aetna, Inc. & Humana, Inc.
Case Law 1: Marion Healthcare LLC v. Southern Illinois Healthcare
In this particular case law, a submission was made by the Department of Justice on the statement of interest in a civil action between a plaintiff who is the Marion Healthcare LLC and defendant who is the Southern Illinois Healthcare. The submission was made at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. In the statement of interest, Marion, which is an ambulatory surgery center that provides the outpatient surgical services within the south of Illinois, alleged that Southern Illinois, which is a healthcare system that provides inpatient and outpatient surgical services and partly owns two ambulatory service centers that operate in the same regions as Marion, entered an exclusive agreement with the insurers of health prohibiting the insurers from entering any other contractual agreements with the competing providers. These agreements by the Southern Illinois and the health insurers restrained the trade and was also in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C & 1. However, in its defense, the defendant referred to the Methodist Health Services Corp. v. OSF Healthcare System, 859 F.3d 408 which established a rule of per se legality in the short term exclusive dealings similar to the agreements that existed between Southern Illinois and the health insurance providers. Nonetheless, the submission by the Department indicated that the proper reading of the referred case law of Methodist, as well as other similar case laws that involve exclusive dealing claims, insinuated that the short term exclusive contracts are not legal per se, but their evaluation is purely based on the rule of reason.
Marion Healthcare LLC v. Southern Illinois Healthcare case law invoked a fresh reading and interpretation of the Methodist Health Services Corp. v. OSF Healthcare System, 859 F.3d 408 as well as the reference to Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C & 1. The interpretation of the Methodist Health Services Corp. v. OSF Healthcare System, 859 F.3d 408 pointed out the existing illegality of the short term exclusive contracts that had taken place between the defendant and the health insurance providers. In this particular case law, the Department of Justice and Marion Healthcare LLC stands out to be the major powerbrokers. Marion Healthcare LLC stood out against oppression by invoking the existing antitrust laws.
Healthcare leaders are tasked with promoting ideas that can be implemented by others, to help their staff, and also to have a vision that will overcome the existing limitations that would act as hindrances to their progress. In the case law, Marion Healthcare LLC stood out to be a good healthcare leader by exercising its role in eliminating the hindrances that stood in its way of progress.
Case Law 2: U.S. and State of Michigan v. Hillsdale Community Health Center, W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital, D/B/A Allegiance Health, Community Health Center of Branch County, and ProMedica Health Systems, Inc.
This submission was made by the Department of Justice to enjoin Allegiance Health and three other hospital systems within Michigan from proceeding with anticompetitive agreements. Allegiance Health which was purchased by Henry Ford becoming Henry Ford Allegiance Health signed an agreement to a settlement in 2018 while the other three had agreed on the settlement in 2015. However, the 2018 settlement by Henry Ford Allegiance Health prohibited it from agreeing with other hospitals, healthcare providers, as well as physicians limiting their marketing as well as their communication on their marketing activities subjecting them to limited exceptions. The agreement also required the Henry Ford Allegiance Health to implement compliance measures in their favor such as the logging of communications with their competitors. According to the agreement, the Henry Ford Health also needed to report any violations to the Department, certify annually with the compliance, submit to the inspection of compliance at the request of the Department, and the reimbursement to the Department and the State for the incurred costs in litigation.
The case law brought about compliance in the health systems making the players such as the Henry Ford Allegiance Health accountable for their actions within their competitive space. The Department of Justice is the main powerbroker in this particular case law. As a healthcare leader, Henry Ford Allegiance Health and the three other hospital health systems are obligated to promote ideas that can be implemented by all. Instead, they failed in this by entering an anticompetitive agreement among themselves.
Case Law 3: U.S. et al. v. Anthem, Inc. & Cigna Corp (1:16-cv-01493, 07/21/16)
The U.S. et al. v. Aetna, Inc. & Humana, Inc. involved a submission by the Department of Justice, the District of California, and eleven states insinuating a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act. The lawsuit was filed stop Anthem, which is the second-largest health insurance provider in the country generating revenues of over $79 billion from buying out Cigna which is the fourth largest health insurance provider with revenues of about $30 billion a merger which would have seen Anthem is the largest health insurance provider in the United States. The merger would also lessen competition within the health insurance sector leading to low-quality services, high prices, and reduced innovation.
The case law led to a permanent injection by the District Court that blocked a merger between two health insurance providers eliminating the low-quality services, high prices, and reduced innovation risks posed by the merger. The main powerbrokers of this case law are the Department of Justice, the District of California, and eleven states.
Despite having a vision that would overcome the existing limitations and act as hindrances to their progress, the two health insurers failed to live up by their roles as healthcare leaders since their merger was not aimed at promoting ideas that can be implemented by others. The merger between Anthem and Cigna was going to thwart competition and create a monopoly within the health insurance sector.
MARION HEALTHCARE LLC V. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS HEALTHCARE. (2018). Justice.gov. Retrieved 21 April 2019, from https://www.justice.gov/atr/case/marion-healthcare-llc-v-southern-illinois-healthcare
US v. WA FOOTE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, No. 15-cv-12311 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 20, 2017).
U.S. AND PLAINTIFF STATES V. ANTHEM, INC. AND CIGNA CORP. (2016). Justice.gov. Retrieved 21 April 2019, from https://www.justice.gov/atr/case/us-and-plaintiff-states-v-anthem-inc-and-cigna-corp
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