Steele Clayton, attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims and assistant leader of the firm’s Antitrust & Trade Practices Group, along with Toby Singer of Jones Day in Washington, D.C., has conducted an interview with Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition Director Richard Feinstein for the American Health Lawyers Association Practice Group Member Briefing.

The interview is described as follows:

The Obama Administration is still just beginning to put its stamp on the federal antitrust enforcement agencies. But new appointees at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have signaled that they will continue the FTC’s strong emphasis on antitrust enforcement in the healthcare arena. FTC Director of the Bureau of Competition Richard Feinstein has particular expertise in healthcare antitrust, having served as assistant director for the Health Care Services and Products Division of the Bureau of Competition in the Clinton Administration, and having continued to practice healthcare antitrust law in private practice after his government service. The AHLA Antitrust Practice Group posed a set of questions to Mr. Feinstein to elicit his views on healthcare antitrust enforcement policy for the FTC now and in the future. Access the Member Briefing entitled, “Questions for Richard Feinstein, Director of the Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission,” which contains the transcript of the interview.

There are a number of responses of particular interest. Mr. Feinstein characterizes one of the FTC’s top priorities as “aggressive” merger enforcement. He explains what we can expect to see in future hospital merger challenges, both procedurally and substantively. He warns against adopting the view that concentration in insurer markets justifies further concentration in provider markets, and states that the FTC examines physician group mergers in the same way that it examines other types of mergers. With respect to clinical integration, Mr. Feinstein reveals that there is more guidance on the way and that the FTC will be having more discussions with groups interested in clinical integration. Other issues addressed are FTC Act Section 5 enforcement, efforts to amend the antitrust laws, and more.