ABA to co-host symposium on competition and consumer protection in health care

Is competition helping consumers of health care? The American Bar Association and Loyola University Chicago School of Law are convening the nation's leading authorities on health-care law and economics to present new research and debate the roles of competition and consumer protection in health care today at its Reconciling Competition and Consumer Protection in Health Care symposium on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at Loyola University.

Giving the keynote address at the event will be Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, vice-provost, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, author of "Reinventing American Health Care," and formerly special adviser on health policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council. Emanuel will present via video live-stream at 12 p.m. CST.

Other topics to be discussed include drug pricing, branded and generic competition, hospital mergers and the effects of the Affordable Care Act, as the experts examine how and where antitrust and consumer protection are succeeding or failing in the sector.

Program highlights include:

- "Responding to Market Power in Health Care" - Panelists will examine antitrust, consumer protection, and regulatory responses to market power in health care including specifically discussing conduct decrees, antitrust immunity statutes, COPAs, and regulatory approaches such as adopted in Rhode Island. The speakers and commentator will address legal, economic and policy aspects of promoting consumer welfare in the face of persistent market power in different segments of health care markets. Panelists are: Thomas L. Greaney, Saint Louis University School of Law, St. Louis; William C. MacLeod, Kelley Drye & Warren, Washington D.C.; Leigh L. Oliver, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Washington, D.C.; and Barak D. Richman, Duke University School of Law, Durham, N.C.

- "Regulating Competition in Health Care" - This panel will discuss regulatory and competitive responses to specific health law market failures. Topics covered will be the efforts state legislatures and attorneys generals to force PBMs to pay pharmacies more for generic drugs, in the name of promoting competition and protecting consumers; and how the principal obstacle to effective competition in health care is not that one or the other party has too much bargaining power, but that they have been buying and selling the wrong things and that vigorous antitrust enforcement will benefit health care consumers only if it accounts for the competitive distortions caused by the sector's long history of government regulation. Panelists are: David A. Hyman, University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign; Monica G. Noether, Charles River Associates, Boston; William M. Sage, School of Law and Dell Medical School, the University of Texas, Austin; Spencer Weber Waller, Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

- "How Much of Health Care Antitrust is Really Antitrust?" - This panel will address whether health care antitrust can be fairly characterized as the application of general antitrust principles to specific health care markets and fact patterns or whether a de facto separate set of rules and enforcement principles have evolved in response to the perceived special needs of the health care community. The speaker and commentator will be followed by a brief panel discussion of the speakers from the earlier panels reflecting on the themes common to all the panels of the program. Panelists are: Roxane C. Busey, Baker & McKenzie, Chicago; Lawrence E. Singer, Loyola University Chicago School of Law; Spencer Weber Waller, Loyola University Chicago School of Law; and Lawrence Wu, NERA Economic Consulting, San Francisco.

Published: Thu, Sep 15, 2016