American Bar Association

Type: Project investor
Category: Volunteer activities Education Scholarship
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association is one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with nearly 400,000 members and more than 3,500 entities. It is committed to doing what only a national association of attorneys can do: serving our members, improving the legal profession, eliminating bias and enhancing diversity, and advancing the rule of law throughout the United States and around the world. Founded in 1878, the ABA is committed to supporting the legal profession with practical resources for legal professionals while improving the administration of justice, accrediting law schools, establishing model ethical codes, and more. Membership is open to lawyers, law students, and others interested in the law and the legal profession. Our national headquarters are in Chicago, and we maintain a significant office in Washington D.C.
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Contact us Antitrust enforcement more critical than ever, FTC head Edith Ramirez tells ABA meeting “Competition is a significant driver of improvement in patient care,” Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez told the lawyers gathered at the ABA Antitrust in Healthcare meeting held May 12-13 at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, Va. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez addresses the ABA Antitrust in Healthcare meeting in Arlington The commissioner was introduced by conference co-chair Leigh L. Oliver of Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., who said that under Ramirez’ tenure, the FTC has brought more than 200 consumer protection and competition-related enforcement actions, more than half of which have involved health care and pharmaceuticals. In office since 2013, Ramirez reminded the group that she had spoken to them two years ago, when she noted that U.S. health care markets were undergoing significant change, including the ramifications of both the Affordable Care Act and an aging population. She said the commission believes the objectives of health care reform are not only compatible with but furthered by enforcement of the antitrust laws in helping to foster high-quality and innovative health care at lower cost. Ramirez said she remained “extremely concerned about the rapid rate of consolidation among health-care providers.” She cited numbers to prove her case: In 2015, hospital mergers increased 18 percent over 2014, and were 70 percent higher than in 2010. “And the rate may even be accelerating,” she said. Mergers of physician practices, as well as hospital acquisitions of physician groups, also continue to rise, she noted. Alternatives to mergers, such as affiliation agreements and joint ventures, are growing, too. While most are not anticompetitive, Ramirez said, “the few that are could cause significant competitive harm.” Hospitals that face fewer competitors have substantially higher prices, she said. In monopoly markets, they are more than 15 percent higher; in markets with one competitor, prices are over 6 percent higher, and in markets with two competitors, they are 5 percent higher. Ramirez said that for the consumer that means a $2,000 higher price tag for a stay in a hospital with no competition compared with when there are at least four competitors. In addition to lowering costs, Ramirez noted that competition also helps improve quality as hospitals compete to attract more patients, including promotin
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